Fighting the Good Fight

The Honorable Judge Shira Scheindlin

Nikita Srivastava (’19)

Hon. Shira Scheindlin

Advocate. Lawyer. Engaged citizen.

These are only a few words Professor Janet Moore used to describe the Honorable Shira Scheindlin, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (ret.), this year’s Judge-in Residence at the University of Cincinnati College of Law.

I had the pleasure to attend her lecture on Race and Policing, and have lunch with her the following day. As a law student, I’ve always told myself that I will be the change I want to see to paraphrase Mathama Gandhi. But, like many other law school students, I get bogged down by the environment at the law school. I stress out most of the time. I don’t get enough sleep. I find myself comparing me to other people making me insecure. I constantly fight the urges to lash out because of insecurities. In just two years, I forgot why I wanted to be a lawyer. However, Judge Shira Scheindlin reminded me why I made that choice.

Continue reading “Fighting the Good Fight”

Judge Shira Scheindlin

Nikita Srivastava (’19)

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Judge Shira Scheindlin

We’re excited to host Judge Shira Scheindlin, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (ret.) as our Jugdse-in residence the week of February 26, 2018. While in law school, only 10% of Judge Schiendlin’s class were women. Judge Schiendlin was nominated for the Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton in 1994. Recently, she wrote an article about women in the legal professions. In this article, she not only shares her personal experience as a federal judge but also other women’s experiences. Continue reading “Judge Shira Scheindlin”

Movie Review of Balancing the Scale

Balancing a Skewed Scale

Nikita Srivastava (’19)

Women in the Profession: Balancing the Scales

In the 1980s, a young female lawyer and her lawyer husband attended a party hosted by a club only allowing male lawyers. The room was filled with young men celebrating their legal careers.  One of the guests at this party handed the woman a name tag. Instead of writing her name, she wrote “discrimantee” and proudly placed it on her chest.  “Well, it is true,” she said after getting several questions about it. (I should write “discrimantee” on all my name tags because nothing much has really changed)

Sharon Rowen’s Balancing the Scales, addresses discrimination using women’s narratives to guide the audience. Due to Ohio’s CLE requirements, Ms. Rowen had to pause the film and explain why she directed it this way. Rowen said the film is divided into 3 parts: 1) the oral history of female role models, 2) what keeps women from achieving higher positions, 3) women not making choices from a level playing field.

Continue reading “Movie Review of Balancing the Scale”

From Catastrophe to Intervention, Support, and Love

Adam J. Foss shares his vision for prosecutors at the YWCA Racial Justice Breakfast.

In less than ten years, Adam J. Foss has demonstrated how one young lawyer can make a difference.  A cum laude graduate from Suffolk Law School in Boston in 2008, Foss became

Adam J. Foss via

a prosecuting attorney who quickly realized just how much power he wielded.  Choosing solutions over a high conviction rate, Foss worked with criminal defendants to achieve justice, something he said never learned in law school.  Foss shares his insights on criminal justice at the YWCA Racial Justice Breakfast on Tuesday, March 21.  The Center will livestream his talk in room 118 at 8 a.m.pic1-5413200bc8a56

Foss has since left the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, to work full time at Prosecutor Integrity, which he co-founded with John Legend and his manager Ty Stiklorius.  This new organization seeks to broaden prosecutors’ perspectives by training them to see defendants as individuals not defined by their crimes and, in so doing, challenge a mindset that measures success in terms of convictions.  In his popular TED talk, Foss said that prosecutors can be the difference between catastrophe and intervention, support, or even love.

To see Foss’s talk at the College of Law, register here.  It’s free and breakfast will be provided.



Black Feminist Futures Ahead

February 24 Symposium features Dr. Tanisha Ford and discussions about Black feminist theory in higher education, activism, and popular culture.

Building upon the voices of millions of women who, just about a month ago, made clear their opposition President Trump’s call to misogyny, racism, and xenophobia, UC Women’s Center hosts a symposium this coming Friday, February 24 at Tangeman University Center entitled:  Creating Black Feminist Futures.  The Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice proudly co-sponsors this event.  Continue reading “Black Feminist Futures Ahead”

February at the Center for RGSJ

Greetings from the Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice!  We have a very busy February schedule!  Check out the below roster of this month’s programs and events which we hope will be of interest to you. If you would like further information on any of these events, don’t hesitate to email us at  If you’re a local reader, we hope to see you at this month’s events!

Date/Time/Location Program/Event
Thurs., Feb. 16 @ 6pm in TUC’s Great Hall #BlackLivesMatter movement co-founder Patrisse Cullors will be on campus to give a talk entitled, “Resistance is Essential: The Continuing Fight for Black and Queer Lives.” It’s sure to be packed so get there early!
Fri., Feb. 17 @ 8:30am-2:30pm at the African American Cultural Resource Center (AACRC) UC’s The Cincinnati Project is hosting their 3rd Annual Symposium .  Leading Black feminist scholar Dr. Patricia Hill Collins, distinguished university professor at the University of Maryland and Charles Phelps Taft Emeritus Professor of Sociology in the Department of African American Studies here at the University of Cincinnati, is keynoting. You can register here for free!
Fri., Feb. 24 @ 9:30am-4:30pm at TUC (room locations TBD) Dr. Tanisha Ford will keynote the inaugural Creating Black Feminist Futures Symposium (which is co-sponsored by the RGSJ Center).  Registration for the Symposium closes on Friday, February 10th.  Register here for free.
Mon., Feb. 27 @ 12:15-1:15pm in the Crow’s Nest UC Law alum and ProKids Executive Director Tracy Cook (‘90) will join us for a Coffee Corner where she’ll discuss how students can get involved with the important work of her organization.  Bring your lunch and share some coffee and cookies with us.
Mon., Feb. 27 @ 5:30-7:30pm at the Mercantile Library The YWCA, Mercantile, and the Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center are co-hosting the first in a series called “Days of Dialogue,” based on the work of Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of Between the World and Me and frequent contributor to The Atlantic.  Register for this event here.  The Center will also be hosting a Days of Dialogue session on April 5 – stay tuned for details!
Mon., Mar. 1 @ 5-7:30pm at TUC  (we know, technically not February but close enough!) UC’s Chapter of the 1 in 3 Campaign is hosting Activist-in-Residence, Jennifer Baumgardner, as part of Women’s History Month and QueerCat Pride Week.  You can learn more and register for free tickets here.



From Uganda to Cincinnati: The Fight to End Acid Violence

11892208_670058353129230_3830734213281377439_n Hanifa Nakiryowa is the proud mother of two girls, a graduate of University of Nairobi, a former H.J. Heinz fellow in the Master of International Development program at the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, and an acid attack survivor.

In 2011, recently divorced Ms. Nakiryowa went to pick up her children from her ex-husband’s home in Kampala, Uganda.  While waiting for her husband to open the door, an assailant threw something on her face.  Nakiryowa said the acid felt cold initially but soon made her feel as if she had been engulfed in flames.  As she screamed, Ms. Nakiryowa husband did nothing; he orchestrated the attack.  Months later, a mirror’s glance revealed an unrecognizable face.  Ms. Nakiryowa had lost parts of her nose; her nostrils appeared to have been melted. Breathing was difficult.  But, the judicial system provided no relief.  Instead of resigning herself to the mounting injustice of her situation, Ms. Nakiryowa formed an organization, the Center for Rehabilitation for Survivors of Acid Violence or CERESAV. Continue reading “From Uganda to Cincinnati: The Fight to End Acid Violence”