Dorothy Roberts


Dorothy Roberts is the Kirkland & Ellis Professor at Northwestern University School of Law, with joint appointments in the Departments of African American Studies and Sociology (courtesy), and as a faculty fellow of the Institute for Policy Research and faculty affiliate of the Joint Center for Poverty Research. She received her B.A. from Yale College and her J.D. from Harvard Law School. Professor Roberts has written and lectured extensively on the interplay of gender, race, and class in legal issues concerning reproduction, motherhood, and child welfare. She is the author of Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty (Pantheon, 1997), which received a 1998 Myers Center Award for the Study of Human Rights in North America, and Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare (Basic Books/Civitas, 2002), which received awards from the Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community and the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, as well as the coauthor of casebooks on constitutional law and women and the law. She has published more than fifty articles in books and scholarly journals, including Harvard Law Review, Yale Law Journal, and Stanford Law Review. She also serves as member of the board of directors of the Black Women's Health Imperative and the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform and as a member of an expert panel overseeing foster care reform in Washington State. Professor Roberts is also a frequent speaker at university campuses, public interest organizations, and other public forums on topics such as race and sex equality, reproductive rights, welfare reform, and child welfare policy. She is currently conducting research on the community-level effects of the spatial concentration of child welfare agency involvement in African American neighborhoods and on race-based biotechnologies.