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Paula C. Johnson

Paula Johnson is a law professor and co-director of the Cold Case Justice Initiative at Syracuse University

Paula C. Johnson is professor of law at Syracuse University College of Law. Professor Johnson and Professor Janis McDonald co-direct the Cold Case Justice Initiative (CCJI) at Syracuse University College of Law, which investigates racially-motivated murders committed during the civil rights era, as well as in contemporary times. She has held several distinguished teaching posts, including the Haywood Burns Chair in Civil Rights at CUNY Law School in 2005-2006 and the Syracuse University College of Law Bond, Schoeneck and King Distinguished Professorship from 2004-2006. She is a member of the Democratizing Knowledge Collective at Syracuse University, an interdisciplinary collective that works to create just and inclusive spaces at the university and that values knowledge within and beyond the academy. She was co-president of the Society of American Law Teachers (SALT), a national organization of approx. 900 law professors from 2002-2003. She earned her B.A. from the University of Maryland, College Park; her J.D. from Temple University School of Law; and her LL.M. from Georgetown University Law Center. Her scholarship and activism focus on matters of race, gender, sexuality, criminal law, international human rights, diversity and access to higher education in academic arenas, local and national media, and grassroots forums. Her writings include Interrupted Life: Experiences of Incarcerated Women in the United States (Univ. Calif. Press 2010); and Inner Lives: Voices of African American Women in Prison (NYU Press, 2003). Her honors and awards include the Central New York ACLU Kharas Award (2015); the Emmett Till Legacy Foundation Woman of Courage Award (2015); the National Civil Rights Social Justice Award (Philadelphia, MS 2014); Syracuse University Chancellor’s Citation for Excellence, and the Unsung Heroine Award from the Syracuse University Martin Luther King, Jr. Awards Committee. Professor Johnson is also a photographer.

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