writer + Lawyer



Author of forthcoming What I Heard Through the Wall, a collection of essays on race, gender and the body from a woman living between white and black, thin and fat, the country’s elite and the nation’s poor. Simon & Schuster 2021. Also seen/heard on NPR, Forbes, Huffington Post, Bust, The Nation, various newspapers, and more.

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AbouT me

I call myself in-between. Black/white/afrolatina. Descendent of slaves and slave owners. Daughter of the American Revolution. A lawyer and a child who saw drugs sold to pay bills. A chronic dieter (fat/thin/thin/fat, and so on). A private education at tony schools, and a family profoundly impacted by the carceral state. I live in liminal spaces, with multivalent perspectives and double-consciousness. This lets me write about dominant groups and subordinated groups, about norms, rules, and daily American life as an insider and outsider at once. I write to create counternarratives, to answer my own questions, to speak for fellow liminal people, and to explore the mysteries and realities of race, gender and living in a human body right now.

I am also a working lawyer, and executive director of the Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice at UC Berkeley School of Law. My center focuses on the intersection of law and social justice with an emphasis on race and gender. As executive director, I speak publicly, lead workshops, write, and teach about race, gender, subordination, privilege, and power. I’m an equity and inclusion adviser to Dean Erwin Chemerinsky and advise the law school curriculum committee on social justice issues. I spearheaded the creation of the law school’s first Race and Law concentration and created the law school’s first racial justice fellowship. I’m also a regular speaker at conferences focused on race, gender, institutional racism, and other social justice issues. You can learn more about my job here.


Writing and such

Visit my blog to read a selection of previously published writing.

You can also hear me on various podcasts and the like: here I’m on FoodPsych with the fabulous Christy Harrison; here I’m interviewing the scholar Sabrina Strings, author of Fearing the Black Body, about the racial origins of fat phobia; I hosted Berkeley Law’s capsule podcast, Be the Change; and soon I’ll be on Let it Out with the wonderful Katie Dalebout.

You can learn a little more about me @ Forbes, too.





Farley Chase @ Chase Literary Agency

New York, NY


UC Berkeley, School of Law J.D. 2011

New York University B.A. 2003



Mothering / Wife-ing
Lawyering / Teaching
Aiming for Metta
Tending the garden
Dinner parties
Taking up (some) space


Current #BookshelfiE

Inland by Tea Obrecht
The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Negroland by Margo Jefferson
The Incendiaries by R.O. Kwon
The Revisioners by Margaret W. Sexton
Exit West by Moshin Hamid
Grand Union by Zadie Smith
Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino


A month in Big Sur
Another month in Big Sur
Another another month in Big Sure