Type: Public event
Host: Ford School

The fight for women's legal rights today


Fatima Goss Graves, CEO and President of the National Women's Law Center

Date & time

Apr 7, 2021, 4:00-5:00 pm EDT


This is a Virtual Event.

Free and open to the public. Join the conversation: #PolicyTalks
View this event on YouTube.

With the announcement of the Biden administration's creation of the White House Gender Policy Council, which will guide and coordinate government policy that impacts women and girls, across a wide range of issues such as economic security, health care, racial justice, gender-based violence, and foreign policy, gender equality is firmly on the policy agenda.

How will those goals translate to social justice in the legal realm? Fatima Goss Graves, President and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center, will give her perspective on how to make the law more equitable in this moment. In this conversation with Ford School professor Celeste Watkins-Hayes, they will address protecting sexual and reproductive rights, ensuring workplace and economic justice, and addressing sexual assault, among other issues.

This event is hosted by the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and co-sponsored by Students of Color in Public Policy, Women and Gender in Public Policy, the Department of Women's and Gender Studies, the Institute for Research on Women and Gender, and the Women's Law Students Association.

From the speaker's bio

Ms. Fatima Goss Graves, who has served in numerous roles at National Women's Law Center for more than a decade, has spent her career fighting to advance opportunities for women and girls. She has a distinguished track record working across a broad set of issues central to women’s lives, including income security, health and reproductive rights, education access, and workplace fairness. Ms. Goss Graves is among the co-founders of the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund.

Prior to becoming President, Ms. Goss Graves served as the Center’s Senior Vice President for Program, where she led the organization’s broad program agenda to advance progress and eliminate barriers in employment, education, health and reproductive rights and lift women and families out of poverty. Prior to that, as the Center’s Vice President for Education and Employment, she led the Center’s anti-discrimination initiatives, including work to promote equal pay, combat harassment and sexual assault at work and at school, and advance equal access to education programs, with a particular focus on outcomes for women and girls of color.

Ms. Goss Graves has authored many articles, including A Victory for Women’s Health Advocates, National Law Journal (2016) and We Must Deal with K-12 Sexual Assault, National Law Journal (2015), and reports, including Unlocking Opportunity for African American Girls: A Call to Action for Educational Equity (2014), Reality Check: Seventeen Million Reasons Low-Wage Workers Need Strong Protections from Harassment (2014), and 50 Years and Counting: The Unfinished Business of Achieving Fair Pay (2013).

Ms. Goss Graves received her B.A. from UCLA in 1998 and her J.D. from Yale Law School in 2001. She began her career as a litigator at the law firm of Mayer Brown LLP after clerking for the Honorable Diane P. Wood of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.  She currently serves as an advisor on the American Law Institute Project on Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct on Campus and was on the EEOC Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace and a Ford Foundation Public Voices Fellow.

She is widely recognized for her effectiveness in the complex public policy arena at both the state and federal levels, regularly testifies before Congress and federal agencies, and is a frequent speaker at conferences and other public education forums. Ms. Goss Graves appears often in print and on air as a legal expert on issues core to women’s lives, including in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, AP, Chicago Tribune, LA Times, San Francisco Chronicle, CNN, MSNBC, and NPR.