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Alumni-Faculty Forum: We Hold These Truths to Be Self Evident: Civil Rights in America

May 20, 2022 @ 2:30 pm - 3:45 pm

Civil Rights AFF

Robertson Hall, 100 Arthur Lewis Auditorium

Sponsored by the Alumni Association of Princeton University


Lynda Dodd *04
Lecturer in the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs and Freshman Seminars, Princeton University


Anthony D. Romero ’87
Executive Director, American Civil Liberties Union

Sarah A. Seo ’02 *16
Professor, Columbia Law School

LaKeisha Caton ’07
Partner, Pryor Cashman LLP

Tara (Knoll) Allison ’12
Trial Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Criminal Section


LDLynda Dodd *04
Lecturer in the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs and Freshman Seminars, Princeton University

Lynda Dodd is a lecturer in public affairs in the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs. Her research focuses on civil rights law and policy, American political and constitutional development, and women’s history. Her most recent book is “The Rights Revolution Revisited: Institutional Perspectives on the Private Enforcement of Civil Rights in the U.S.,” and her forthcoming book, “Taming the Rights Revolution: The Supreme Court, Constitutional Torts, and the Elusive Quest for Accountability,” examines the political and legal debates regarding civil rights litigation under Section 1983, from its origins in the Civil Rights Act of 1871 to the Roberts Court era. Before coming to Princeton, she was the Flom Professor of Legal Studies and Political Science at the City University of New York, and previously was a member of the faculty at American University’s Washington College of Law. She graduated from Yale Law School in 2000 and received her Ph.D. in politics from Princeton in 2004.


ARAnthony Romero ’87
Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union

Anthony Romero has been the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the nation’s premier defender of civil liberties, since 2001. He is the ACLU’s sixth executive director and the first Latino and openly gay man to serve in that capacity. Romero took the helm of the organization just seven days before the Sept. 11 attacks and has presided over the most prodigious growth in the ACLU’s history, dramatically increasing its membership, national and affiliate staff, and budget. Earlier in his career, Anthony served as director of human rights and international cooperation at the Ford Foundation; and senior program advisor and Weaver Fellow of the Equal Opportunity Division at the Rockefeller Foundation. He currently serves on the Board of Physicians for Human Rights; the Advisory Council of the Global Forum for Freedom and Justice; the Racial Justice Task Force of the Robin Hood Foundation; and is a member of the New York State Bar. Born in New York City to parents who hailed from Puerto Rico, Romero was the first in his family to graduate from high school. He is a graduate of Stanford University Law School and the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs. In 2020, he was awarded Princeton University’s highest honor, the Woodrow Wilson Award, presented annually to an undergraduate alumnus or alumna of the college whose career embodies a commitment to national service.

SSSarah Seo ’02 *16
Professor, Columbia Law School

Sarah Seo is professor at Columbia Law School, where she teaches legal history, criminal law and criminal procedure. Her recent book, “Policing the Open Road: How Cars Transformed American Freedom,” was named one of 2019’s 10 best history books by Smithsonian magazine and received numerous prizes, including the Order of the Coif Book Award, the Littleton-Griswold Prize from the American Historical Association and the Ralph Waldo Emerson Award from Phi Beta Kappa Society. In addition to publishing in academic journals, Seo has written for the Atlantic, Boston Review, Lapham’s Quarterly, Le Monde Diplomatique, the New York Review of Books, the New York Times, and the Washington Post. Seo received her J.D. from Columbia Law School and clerked for Judge Denny Chin, then of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, and Judge Reena Raggi of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.

LCLaKeisha Caton ’07
Partner, Pryor Cashman LLP

LaKeisha Caton is a partner in the labor and employment and litigation departments at Pryor Cashman LLP, a full-service law firm with offices in New York City, Los Angeles and Miami. She represents both management and executives in employment-related disputes, including discrimination and harassment cases. She serves on Law360’s Employment Editorial Advisory Board and was named “One to Watch” in Labor and Employment Law – Management and Litigation by Best Lawyers in America (2022). Further, she is a member of the National Black Lawyers Top 100. Previously, she was an employment attorney at Liddle & Robinson, LLP, and Schulte Roth & Zabel, LLP. She clerked for Judge Shira A. Scheindlin in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York before entering private practice. Caton holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School, where she served on the board of the Harvard Journal on Racial and Ethnic Justice. She also interned with multiple children’s rights organizations during law school, representing individual clients as well as preparing for large class-actions. Caton graduated from Princeton with a major in philosophy and a certificate in African American studies. In her free time, she provides voluntary legal services to several nonprofit organizations, including the Parent Resource Center, Australians in Film and the New York Common Pantry.

TATara Knoll Allison ’12
Trial Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Criminal Section

Tara Allison graduated from Princeton University in 2012 and from Harvard Law School in 2017. Between undergrad and law school, she worked for a grassroots anti-human trafficking organization in northern Thailand for a year and for an alternative-to-incarceration program in the Bronx for a year. She clerked for Judge Elizabeth K. Dillon of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia and for Judge Rosemary S. Pooler of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. She began working at the U.S. Department of Justice through the Attorney General’s Honors Program. As a trial attorney in the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division, she prosecutes federal hate crimes, police brutality and human trafficking cases around the country. She recently was on the prosecution team in the federal criminal case against the officers involved in the death of George Floyd, which resulted in convictions of all four officers for violating the U.S. Constitution.



May 20, 2022
2:30 pm - 3:45 pm
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