Dorothy Roberts is the 14th Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor, the George A. Weiss University Professor of Law & Sociology, and the Raymond Pace & Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Professor of Civil Rights at University of Pennsylvania. An internationally acclaimed scholar, activist, and social critic, she has written and lectured extensively on the interplay of gender, race, and class in legal issues concerning reproduction, bioethics, and child welfare. Her latest book, TORN APART: is about how the child welfare system destroys black families—and how abolition can build a safer world.
Dorothy is also the author of Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-First Century, which documents the rise of a new racial politics that relies on re-inventing the political system of race as a biological category written in our genes and obscures deepening racial inequities in a supposedly post-racial society.
Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty (Pantheon, 1997), which received a 1998 Myers Center Award for the Study of Human Rights in North America, and Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare (Basic Books, 2002), which received research awards from the Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community and the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children. She is also the co-editor of Sex, Power and Taboo: Gender and HIV in the Caribbean and Beyond, as well as of casebooks on gender and constitutional law and has published more than 100 articles and essays in books and scholarly journals, including Harvard Law Review, Yale Law Journal, Stanford Law Review, and Signs.
Dorothy has been the Kirkland & Ellis Professor at Northwestern University School of Law and a faculty fellow at the Institute for Policy Research. A visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Stanford, and Fordham and a fellow at Harvard University's Program in Ethics and the Professions, Stanford's Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, and the Fulbright Program. She serves as the chair of the board of directors of the Black Women's Health Imperative and a member of the board of the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform, as well as on a panel of five national experts that is overseeing foster care reform in Washington State and on the Standards Working Group of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. She received awards from the National Science Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for her latest book project. Dorothy received the 2015 Solomon Carter Fuller Award from the American Psychiatric Association for “providing significant benefit to the quality of life for Black people” and a 2015-2016 American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship to work on a new book project on "Interracial Marriage and Racial Equality in Chicago, 1937-1967.