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Democracy is not a spectator sport. It requires that we live in alignment with and advance its foundational moorings. Lawyers are uniquely positioned and qualified as power brokers to this end, and law students should challenge themselves to envision how they will show up as students of the law because this will inform how they show up in the legal profession. As an advocate for social justice, Prof. Washington Hicks is well known for her fair housing activism in Atlanta. She has successfully led an ongoing movement to fight the city's use of eminent domain to claim homes in historically black neighborhoods targeted for gentrification. Prof. Washington Hicks will share her experiences and contributions as a law student, law professor, and citizen to this important, enduring and endearing experiment we call America.

Tanya Washington Hicks is a Professor of Law at the Georgia State University College of Law. She earned her JD from The University of Maryland School of Law and then clerked for Associate Judge Robert M. Bell on the Maryland Court of Appeals. After practicing as a litigator at Piper & Marbury, she completed two fellowships and earned her LLM from Harvard Law School. Her articles and op-eds have been published in law journals and periodicals across the nation, and Supreme Court Justice Kennedy, cited her co-authored amicus brief in the landmark marriage equality decision, Obergefell v. Hodges. Prof. Washington Hicks’s work as a public intellectual and as an educator-activist includes serving for two years as Director of the John Lewis Fellowship Program, and her work has been recognized and celebrated by the Gate City Bar, with the President’s Award for Excellence, and by GSU, with the Alumni Distinguished Faculty Award for Teaching and Scholarship. She currently serves as President of the GSU Faculty of the African Diaspora Association and she frequently curates and facilitates team building, anti-racist training, and diversity, equity and inclusion workshops for organizations, law firms and university departments.