Professor Osamudia James was named a co-recipient of the 2014 Derrick A. Bell, Jr. Award. Awarded annually by the American Association of Law Schools Minority Groups Section, the Derrick A. Bell, Jr. Award recognizes a junior faculty member who, through activism, mentoring, colleagueship, teaching, and scholarship, has made an extraordinary contribution to legal education, the legal system, or social justice. The Award is named in honor of Professor Bell, who was the first tenured African American Law Professor at Harvard Law and a co-founder of Critical Race Theory.
Professor James was nominated by a national group of scholars, who included Professors Tony Alfieri and Charlton Copeland from Miami Law's faculty. James accepted the award at the Section's Luncheon on Sunday, January 5, at the AALS Annual Meeting in New York City.
"Professor James is an extraordinarily talented person of great integrity and moral courage," said Dean Patricia D. White. "She is a fitting person to be recognized by an award named after Derrick Bell."
James writes and teaches in the areas of Education Law, Race and the Law, Administrative Law, and Torts. Some of her more recent work includes "White Like Me: The Diversity Rationale's Negative Impact on White Identity Formation," which will be published in the New York University Law Review; "Opt-Out Education: School Choice as Racial Subordination," to be published in the Iowa Law Review; "Predatory Ed: The Conflict Between Public Good and For-Profit Higher Education;" and "Dog Wags Tail: The Continuing Viability of Minority-Targeted Aid in Higher Education."
"I am deeply honored to be named a co-recipient for this year's award," said James. "Professor Derrick Bell's commitment to racial and social justice was extraordinary, and I hope to further advance his legacy through my teaching and scholarship."
The Executive Committee of the AALS Section on Minority Groups announced the winners in November. A public announcement will also be made at the Section's Program.
James shared the award with Stephen Lee, University of California Irvine School of Law. Past winners of the Derrick A. Bell, Jr. Award include Professor Mario Barnes, who won in 2008 while a professor at Miami Law.