About the Keynote Speaker

Kim Norwood

Kim Norwood is a professor of law and professor of African and African-American Studies at Washington University. Born in Harlem, NY; she graduated from Fordham University in the early 1980s; pledging Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; Lamba Chapter while there. She attended law school at the University of Missouri-Columbia and graduated in 1985. While at the University of Missouri, she became the first black person in the school's history to become a member of the prestigious Missouri Law Review. After law school, Norwood clerked with federal district court judge Clifford Scott Green, practiced law with a private firm for several years and joined the law faculty at Washington University School of Law in 1990.

At Washington University, Norwood has taught a range of courses from personal injury classes to education law and policy based courses. One of her classes, entitled Race, Class and Education, involves a combination of judges, lawyers, law students and high school students working together in various mentoring relationships. Norwood also has conducted all day workshops for St. Louis Public School teachers on the struggle for education in black America from slavery through Reconstruction. She has also taught in China, Japan and the Netherlands and supervised public interest externships in Ghana and Kenya.

Her recent research interests have focused on black identity issues and on the public education challenges facing poor children, inner city children and black and Latino/Latina children. She recently published a law review article commemorating the historic lawsuit filed in St. Louis, MO more than 40 years ago to desegregate the public schools there. Her first book, Color Matters: Skin Tone Bias and the Myth of a Post-Racial America was published in 2013.

Norwood is the founder and co-director of a mentor program for the black law students at Washington University. She is a member of the American Law Institute, vice president, board member and 2014 planning chair of the Midwestern People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference, Inc. She is a member of the American Law Institute, a commissioner on the Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission and a member of the Regional Disciplinary Committee, Region X, Division 2, of the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel for the State of Missouri.

She is married to Ronald Norwood, a partner at the law firm of Lewis, Rice & Fingersh. The couple has 5 children. She loves to cook, read, travel internationally and run. She recently completed her first full marathon and looks forward to at least one more marathon in her future.

Empowering women: From the outside and from within

Friday, April 25, 2014
1-2:15 p.m.

PSU 200 (Theater)

Presentation shared with the Statewide Collaborative Diversity Conference.

In the closing session for the Statewide Collaborative Diversity Conference, and the opening session for the Women’s Leadership Conference, Professor Kimberly Norwood will focus on working for the equity of women.

Women have come a long way over the past few decades. There are more female CEOs and other professionals, elected government officials and more. Yet, there is still much work to be done.

Norwood advocates that women must continue to work on improving themselves, supporting each other and helping girls grow with healthy self-confidence and esteem. Simultaneously, they have to focus outward and make demands of society at large. Stereotypes and biases — both explicit and implicit — continue to hold women back. Women have to demand equality and fairness from their fellow citizens as well.

Professor Norwood’s comments will address several issues on this continuum, with the goal of providing ideas toward the empowerment of women.