Taifha Natalee Alexander LL.M. ’21, who directs the CRT Forward project within UCLA School of Law’s Critical Race Studies program, has been honored as an Emerging Scholar by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education. Alexander is among 15 scholars, out of several hundred nominees, who earned the prestigious recognition for 2024. The honor celebrates the accomplishments and impact of rising stars in academia who are under age 40.
For four decades Diverse has been a key “source of critical news, information and insightful commentary on the full range of issues concerning diversity in American higher education. [It] began writing about diversity, equity and inclusion in higher education long before diversity and multiculturalism became ‘hot-button’ issues,” with a mission “to provide information that is honest, thorough and balanced.”
Alexander’s cutting-edge scholarship includes legal research at the intersection of law, critical race studies, higher education, social justice and equity. As the director of CRT Forward, which launched in 2021, she oversees an innovative endeavor that utilizes data, policy and legal analysis to support and advance an accurate representation of Critical Race Theory. This includes the Tracking Project, CRT Forward’s flagship initiative, which identifies, tracks and analyzes local, state and federal measures that are aimed at restricting the ability to speak truthfully about race, racism and systemic racism through a campaign to reject CRT. The project’s most recent study, published in April last year, found that government officials introduced 563 measures aimed at restricting teaching about race and racism in 2021 and 2022.
In March, Alexander will present the project’s research to an audience at the SXSW Conference in Austin, Texas.
Alexander is a frequent commentator in the mainstream press, and her array of publications includes pieces in the Georgetown Journal of Modern Critical Race Perspectives and the Harvard Journal of Sports and Entertainment Law. She recently co-authored the chapter “Creating an Antiracist College” in the book Revising the Curriculum and Co-Curriculum to Engage Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (Routledge, 2023), and she teaches the course Race, Slavery, and Law at USC Gould School of Law.
She earned her B.S. from St. John’s University, J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, and LL.M. from UCLA Law.