Rutgers University Law Review
This essay considers the collective strength of women of color in two contexts: when we are well represented on law school faculties and when we contribute to accomplishing stated institutional diversity goals. Critical mass is broadly defined as a sufficient number of people of color. Though the concept has been socially appropriated, its origins are scientific. While much of the academic literature encourages diversity initiatives designed to reach a critical mass, social change is not a science. Diversity in numbers may positively benefit individual experiences for women of color, however, diversity alone will not change social norms at the root of inequities for women of color in the legal academy. This critique of structural diversity is especially true of diversity initiatives that operate as barriers to diversity and structural change. First, I address the perceived benefits and potential shortcomings of obtaining a critical mass of women of color on law school faculties. Then, I examine barriers to diversity and structural change like diversity ideology and hiring policies that are racist. Finally, I examine the role of women of color in diversifying law school faculties.