Professor Norwood’s research focuses on blackthink, colorism, implicit bias, and the intersection of race, class, and public education in America. She lectures around the world on colorism, various social justice/civil rights issues, implicit (and explicit) bias issues and was part of the national team of experts consulted to advise Starbucks on its national implicit bias training agenda.
She has taught law courses overseas at Universiteit Utrecht in The Netherlands, Fudan University in Shanghai, China, at Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo, Japan, and she guest lectured at National Chiao Tung University School of Law, National Cheng Kung University, and NKFST Law, in Taiwan. As part of the law school’s Africa Public Interest Law & Conflict Resolution Initiative, Norwood has supervised public interest externships for law students working in Ghana and Kenya and is now looking at expanding externships to Nigeria.
Her top three proudest achievements at the law school have been:
1) Organizing the first international colorism conference on U. S. soil. Global Perspectives on Colorism, supported by the Whitney R Harris World Law Institute, was held at the law school in April of 2015; scholars from around the nation and world came to share their scholarship on skin color preferences and discriminations throughout the world.
2) The creation and development of a unique high school to law school pipeline course (for which she has won several local and national awards) where judges, lawyers, law students, and high school students work closely together for a semester on various educational matters and legal experiences. The semester ends with oral arguments in the courtrooms of the judges and personal evaluations by the judges on the performances of the high school students.
3) Organizing a conference in 2012 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of a major desegregation lawsuit filed in 1972 in St. Louis, MO. The conference, “Liddell at 40: Commemorating the Desegregation Movement in St. Louis and a Look at the Future of Urban Education,” celebrated the efforts of Minnie Liddell to bring quality education to black children in St. Louis city public schools. That lawsuit toiled in the court system for 27 years and ultimately became one of the largest voluntary desegregation case in the nation’s history.
- Fordham University B.A. 1982
- University of Missouri-Columbia J.D. 1985
- Education Equity, Equality & Reform-K-12
- Implicit Bias in Law & Society
- Race, Class and Education
- Products Liability
- Areas of Expertise
- Implicit Bias
- Ferguson’s Fault Lines: The Race Quake That Rocked A Nation (ABA 2016)
- Color Matters: Skin Tone Bias and the Myth of a Post Racial America (Routledge 2014)
- Aggressive Encounters & White Fragility: Deconstructing the Trope of the Angry Black Woman, 102 IOWA L. REV 2017 (2017)
- Recalibrating the scales of municipal court justice: A dissenter’s view, 51 WASH. U. J. L. POL’Y 121 (2016)
- “If You Is White, Yous Alright. . .” Stories about Colorism in America, 14 WASH U. GLOB. STUD. L. REV. 585 (2015)
- The Far-Reaching Shadow Cast by Ferguson, 46 WASH. U. J. L. POL’Y 1 (2014)
- Activity and Affiliations
- Commissioner, ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession (2017-Present)
- Member, Monitoring Team (U.S. v. Ferguson–Consent Decree) (2015-Present)
- Commissioner (& Co-Chair, Implicit Bias Work Group), ABA Diversity & Inclusion 360 Commission (2015-2016)
- Fellow, American Bar Foundation (2014-Present)
- Member, American Law Institute (ALI)
- Commissioner, Missouri Supreme Court Racial and Ethnic Fairness Commission (2015-present)
- Member, Missouri Supreme Court Municipal Division Work Group (2015-2016)
- Board Member, McRel International (2015-present)
- Board Member, University City Children’s Center (2015-present)
- Board Member, St. Louis Public Radio (2014-present)
- Board Member, Black Leadership Roundtable (2012-present)
- Honors and Awards
- 2019 Woman of the Year, Missouri Lawyers Media (2019)
- Spirit of Justice Award, St. Louis Bar Foundation (2017)
- Henry H. Oberschelp Endowed Chair (2016)
- Norman Early Trailblazing in Law Award, National Black Prosecutors Association (2016)
- Washington University Distinguished Faculty Award (2015)
- Israel Treiman Faculty Fellow (2014)
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