Hurston/Wright Foundation | Tomiko Brown-Nagin
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Tomiko Brown-Nagin



Courage to Dissent

Tomiko Brown-Nagin


Tomiko Brown-Nagin is an award-winning legal historian and expert in constitutional law and education law and policy. Her 2011 book, Courage to Dissent: Atlanta and the Long History of the Civil Rights Movement (Oxford), won the Bancroft Prize in US History, the highest honor awarded annually to a work in the field of history. Prior to joining the Harvard faculty, Brown-Nagin held joint appointments in law and history at the University of Virginia and at Washington University. Before entering academia, Brown-Nagin clerked for the Honorable Robert L. Carter of the U. S. District Court, Southern District of New York, and for the Honorable Jane Roth of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. She also worked as a litigation associate at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison in New York City. Brown-Nagin currently is at work on two major projects. The first argues that in today’s hypercompetive admissions environment, selective institutions of higher education are obligated to ensure access for talented, first-generation and economically disadvantaged college students. The second is a biography of the Honorable Constance Baker Motley. Brown-Nagin earned a law degree from Yale, where she served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal, a doctorate in history from Duke, and a B.A. in history, summa cum laude, from Furman University.