#MeToo: One Year Later

Conference/Symposium | November 16 | 1-4 p.m. | The Law Building, Room 100

 Roxane Gay, Author of Bad Feminist and Hunger

 Kathryn R. Abrams, Herma Hill Kay Distinguished Professor of Law, Berkeley Law; Leah Benavides, Writer and Director; Aya Gruber, Professor of Law, University of Colorado Boulder; Lara Stemple, Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies and International Student Programs, UCLA School of Law

 Russell Robinson, Walter Perry Johnson Professor of Law, Berkeley Law

 Center on Race, Sexuality & Culture, Center for Race and Gender, The Division of Equity & Inclusion’s Campus Climate Speaker, Affirmation and Empowerment Series

Center on Race, Sexuality & Culture and Center for Race & Gender present:

Friday, November 16, 2018
Lunch talk: 1:00pm – 2:30pm
Panel discussion: 2:30pm – 4:00pm
Room 100, Berkeley Law
RSVP by November 12 at https://berkeleylaw.wufoo.com/forms/metoo-program/

#MeToo: One Year Later

This conference will spotlight how harassment and discrimination impact people with a range of different identities, including people of color and LGBTQ people, and examine the extent to which the #MeToo movement has brought lasting change.

1:00pm to 2:30pm – KEYNOTE SPEAKER
Roxane Gay
Author of Bad Feminist and Hunger

Roxane Gay is an author and cultural critic whose writing is unmatched and widely revered. She is a contributing op-ed writer for The New York Times and the author of Bad Feminist and An Untamed State. In 2017, Roxane released her highly anticipated memoir, Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body, as well as a collection of short stories titled Difficult Women. She recently became the first black woman to ever write for Marvel, writing a comic series in the Black Panther universe called World of Wakanda.

This program will assess the impact of the #MeToo movement on law, business, and popular culture. One year after media reports about Harvey Wein­stein led to his downfall, the Senate confirmed Brett Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court Justice despite compelling testimony by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. Meanwhile, some of the men who were accused at the height of the movement have crept back into positions of power. Are businesses and the broader culture reverting to status quo practices as media attention on sexual harassment declines? How has #MeToo discourse treated women of color, male survivors, and queer survivors and perpetrators? Does the conversation about “redemption” unfairly privilege perpetrators?

2:30pm to 4:00pm – PANEL DISCUSSION


Russell Robinson
Walter Perry Johnson Professor of Law
Faculty Director, Center on Race, Sexuality & Culture

Prior to joining UC Berkeley, Robinson was Professor of Law at UCLA. Robinson graduated with honors from Harvard Law School (1998), after receiving his B.A. summa cum laude from Hampton University (1995). Robinson clerked for Judge Dorothy Nelson of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (1998-99) and for Justice Stephen Breyer of the U.S. Supreme Court (2000-01). He has also worked for the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Legal Counsel (1999-2000) and the firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer and Feld in Los Angeles, practicing entertainment law (2001-02).

Robinson’s scholarly and teaching interests include antidiscrimination law, race and sexuality, law and psychology, constitutional law, and media and entertainment law.

Kathryn R. Abrams
Herma Hill Kay Distinguished Professor of Law

Before entering academia, Kathy Abrams clerked for Judge Frank M. Johnson of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. She has taught at the law schools at Boston University, Indiana University-Bloomington, Harvard University and Northwestern University. Most recently, she was Professor of Law and Associate Professor of Ethics and Public Life at Cornell University. While at Cornell, she served as Director of the Women’s Studies Program, and won several awards for teaching and for service to women. She joined the Boalt faculty in 2001.

Abrams teaches feminist jurisprudence, voting rights and constitutional law. Her scholarship has explored questions of employment discrimination, minority vote dilution, campaign finance, constitutional law, and law and the emotions, but it has focused most centrally on feminist jurisprudence. Within this area, Abrams has written on feminist methodology and epistemology, the jurisprudence of sexual harassment, and cultural and theoretical constructions of women’s agency.

Leah Benavides
Writer and Director

Leah Benavides grew up in Houston,Texas to a Mexican father and a Czech mother. After graduating from a musical theater conservatory in NYC, Leah transitioned to writing and directing plays. Her productions would garner attention from the Indie Theatre scene and in 2011, she was accepted into the prestigious Lincoln Center Directors Lab. Her production of Cowboy Mouth not only earned her rave reviews in Backstage, Show Business Weekly, and

Cultural Capital, but it also received a nomination for Best Revival of a Play at the New York Innovative Theatre Awards.

In 2014 she made another transition and moved from the theatre world to the TV writing world. That year she was selected to be a part of NBC’s Writers on the Verge program.

Soon after, Leah staffed on E!’s The Arrangement where she completed two seasons. She also wrote “The Ex-Factor” an upcoming episode for BET’s second season of TALES based on the Lauryn Hill song of the same name. Leah’s currently writing the book of a new musical with Rene Rigal, EVP of Virgin Produced and Co-Founder of Atlantis Entertainment and also sold a pilot to 20th Century Fox with her husband, Carlito Rodriguez.

Leah is repped at CAA and Industry Entertainment.

Aya Gruber
Professor of Law, University of Colorado Boulder

Aya Gruber is a professor at the University of Colorado Law School. Gruber received her B.A. in Philosophy from U.C. Berkeley, summa cum laude and her law degree from Harvard Law School magna cum laude, where she served as an editor on the Harvard Women’s Law Journal and founded the Interracial Law Students’ Association. After law school, she clerked for U.S. district court judge James L. King in Miami, Florida and then served as a felony trial attorney with the Public Defender Service in Washington, D.C. and the Federal Public Defender in Miami. Prior to Colorado, Gruber was a professor of law at University of Iowa and a founding faculty member at Florida International University Law School. In 2017, she was a visiting professor at Harvard Law School. Gruber currently teaches and writes in the areas of criminal law and procedure, critical theory, feminism, and comparative/international law. Her numerous articles, published in leading law journals, focus on feminist efforts to strengthen criminal law responses to gender crimes and include A Provocative Defense (California Law Review 2015), for which she received 2017 Jules Milstein Award for scholarship. Her forthcoming book, The Feminist War on Crime (U.C. Press forthcoming 2019), tells the story how feminists, in their quest to secure women’s protection, became soldiers in the war on crime and contributors to mass incarceration, and it sketches a path forward for activists to oppose gender violence without reinforcing the prison state. Gruber has also written a book on comparative criminal procedure, articles on treaty law, and articles on procedure and privacy. Gruber is a member of the American Law Institute and serves as an adviser to the ALI Model Penal Code sexual assault project. A frequent public speaker on criminal justice, Professor Gruber has appeared on PBS, Fox News, ABC, and is quoted in various news outlets, including the Denver Post, Slate, and the New York Times.

Lara Stemple
UCLA School of Law, Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies and International Student Programs
Director, Health and Human Rights Law Project Z

Lara Stemple is the Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies and International Student Programs at UCLA School of Law, where she oversees the law school’s LL.M. (masters) and S.J.D. (doctoral) degree programs and directs the Health and Human Rights Law Project. Stemple teaches and writes in the areas of human rights, global health, gender, sexuality, and incarceration.

Before joining UCLA, Stemple was the Executive Director of the human rights organization Just Detention International and was a Rockefeller Post Doctoral Fellow at Columbia University’s Program on Sexuality, Gender, Health, and Human Rights. She also served as the Senior Advocacy Officer at the Pacific Institute for Women’s Health. Before that, Stemple worked for the international program at the Center for Reproductive Rights in New York and was a Teaching Fellow at Harvard University.

Stemple currently serves on the Advisory Board of UCLA’s Center for the Study of Women, and she is a founding faculty member of the UC Global Health Institute’s Center of Expertise on Women’s Health and Empowerment.

Stemple has drafted legislation that was signed into law, lobbied members of Congress and United Nations delegates, and testified before legislative bodies. Media commentary has included CNN, National Public Radio, Al Jazeera, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Slate, and The Atlantic.

Generously co-sponsored by: The Division of Equity & Inclusion’s Campus Climate Speaker, Affirmation and Empowerment Series

 Caroline Cheng, Events and Projects Specialist, Berkeley Law, 220A Boalt Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720, ccheng@law.berkeley.edu, 510-642-9919