Kenji Yoshino

Kenji Yoshino

Kenji Yoshino is the Chief Justice Earl Warren Professor of Constitutional Law at the New York University School of Law. 

In his seminal 2006 book, Covering: The Hidden Assault on Our Civil Right, Yoshino fuses legal manifesto with autobiography, arguing that each of us “covers”—that, bending to societal pressure, we tone down an aspect of our personality to gain acceptance from the mainstream. Against that conventional understanding, Yoshino argues that the demand to cover can pose a hidden threat to our civil rights.

Popular on many campuses, Covering was hailed by Publishers Weekly for its "tremendous potential as a touchstone in the struggle for universal human dignity." Yoshino is a renowned speaker on same-sex marriage in America, for nearly two decades covering the topic from various angles: personal, political, legislative, even economic.  

His new project “Uncovering,” coauthored with Christie Smith at Deloitte Consulting, explores the issue of “covering” in the workplace. This groundbreaking report, featured in Forbes, looks at the track record of corporate inclusion, and makes recommendations for how to expand prevailing attitudes about leadership, hiring, promotion, opportunities, and long-term growth.

Educated at Harvard, Oxford (as a Rhodes Scholar), and Yale Law School, Yoshino taught from 1998 to 2008 at Yale Law School, where he was the deputy dean and the inaugural Guido Calabresi Professor of Law. In 2011, he was elected an Overseer of Harvard University. 

A specialist in constitutional law, civil rights law, and law and literature, he has written for major academic journals such as the Harvard Law Review, Stanford Law Review, and Yale Law Journal. He also contributes to the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Slate, and appears regularly on Charlie Rose and NPR.

Yoshino is also the author of the 2011 book, A Thousand Times More Fair, in which he explores several Shakespeare plays and ties them to a contemporary question of justice.

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