University of Miami Law Professor Wins A Roddenberry Fellowship


CORAL GABLES, Fla. (December 12, 2017) – The Roddenberry Foundation announced today that Professor Caroline Bettinger-López of the University of Miami School of Law is the winner of a Roddenberry Fellowship for her COURAGE in Policing Project (Community Oriented and United Responses to Address Gender Violence and Equality).

Caroline Bettinger Lopez

Caroline Bettinger-López to launch COURAGE in Policing Project

The Roddenberry Fellowship was created in 2017 with $1 million in inaugural funding to catalyze work that helps make the United States more inclusive and equitable. From a pool of nearly 3,000 applicants, 20 Roddenberry Fellows were chosen to join the fellowship’s first-ever cohort, which begins in January 2018. Each fellow will receive a $50,000 grant and tailored support to build and scale their initiatives over 12 months.

The 2018 cohort will tackle projects focused on women’s and LGBTQIA rights, civil rights, immigrant and refugee rights, and climate change.

“As we collectively experience this current watershed moment on gender violence in the U.S., we must think creatively about how to move from #MeToo to #RealChange,” said Bettinger-López, who recently returned to Miami Law after serving as the White House Advisor on Violence Against Women and a Senior Advisor to Vice President Joe Biden from 2015-2017.  “A coordinated and systematic response to gender violence in every sector—including law enforcement—is needed to create lasting change. The Roddenberry Fellowship will help to pave the way for making that change real.”

Bettinger-López’s COURAGE in Policing Project works with community-based organizations, police departments, and national leaders on gender violence and policing to enhance law enforcement response to domestic violence and sexual assault against women (especially women of color and immigrant women) and LGBTQIA individuals.

The project has both a local and national focus and aims to promote, implement, and coordinate the U.S. Department of Justice’s groundbreaking 2015 Guidance on Identifying and Preventing Gender Bias in Law Enforcement Response to Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence. Bettinger-López and other advocates originally proposed the guidance to the DOJ several years ago in the landmark case, Jessica Lenahan (Gonzales) v. United StatesInter-American Commission on Human Rights, 2011.

Working in close coordination with law enforcement, the COURAGE in Policing Project connects the dots between local and national advocacy on gender violence, racial and immigrant justice, and LGBTQIA rights. Although domestic and sexual violence calls for service comprise the majority of 911 calls to many police departments, law enforcement response to gender violence is often not prioritized accordingly. Additionally, our national conversation about bias in policing has tended to focus on race and national origin, not sex or gender. This project aims to fill those gaps by developing model policies, training, supervision protocols, and systems of accountability for law enforcement response to domestic violence and sexual assault.

Launched in 2010 to honor the life and legacy of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, The Roddenberry Foundation offers opportunities for original thinkers and innovators from all walks of life to pursue significant, lasting social change. The Foundation is committed to finding and supporting remarkable people and organizations that disrupt existing dynamics and challenge convention through its Catalyst Fund, a small grants program for early-stage ideas, its annual Roddenberry Fellowship, and the Roddenberry Prize, a biennial competition to crowd-source innovative solutions to global challenges.

MEDIA CONTACT: Catharine Skipp at 305-773-5801 or


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