Elizabeth Warren as Harvard Law’s “First Woman of Color”

Videos Highlighting The Latest Search Trends.
May 16 2012 2:12 PM

Elizabeth Warren as Harvard Law’s “First Woman of Color”

Some are suggesting that Elizabeth Warren got ahead in her hiring at Harvard Law School because she was the department's first "woman of color," for her Native American roots.

Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Was Elizabeth Warren the first “woman of color” to be hired to Harvard Law School back in 1995?

Politico reports that according to a 1997 piece in the Fordham Law Review, the current candidate for senate in Massachusetts—who has Native American roots—was touted by the school as part of an effort to increase diversity among faculty. The piece reflects similar statements in an article in the Harvard Crimson from 1996 that describes the professor-turned-consumer advocate as a Native American. That has some suggesting that Warren’s hiring wasn’t all about merit.


But Warren’s camp has fired back, saying that her family claiming Native American heritage is old news, and that she wasn’t aware that Harvard was ever billing her that way.

“Everyone who hired Elizabeth has been clear that she was hired because she was a great teacher, not because of that heritage,” said Warren spokesperson Alethea Harney. Maybe those who still have questions about merit versus heritage can be answered by her score on the most important metric of higher education: Rate My Professors.

Video produced by Paca Thomas.

Ben Johnson is the producer of Marketplace Tech from American Public Media.



Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Cheez-Its. Ritz. Triscuits.

Why all cracker names sound alike.

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059

Medical Examiner

Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?  

A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.

The Afghan Town With a Legitimately Good Tourism Pitch

A Futurama Writer on How the Vietnam War Shaped the Series

  News & Politics
Sept. 21 2014 11:34 PM People’s Climate March in Photos Hundreds of thousands of marchers took to the streets of NYC in the largest climate rally in history.
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
Sept. 22 2014 8:07 AM Why Haven’t the Philadelphia Eagles Ever Won a Super Bowl?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 8:08 AM Slate Voice: “Why Is So Much Honey Clover Honey?” Mike Vuolo shares the story of your honey.
Sept. 21 2014 9:00 PM Attractive People Being Funny While Doing Amusing and Sometimes Romantic Things Don’t dismiss it. Friends was a truly great show.
Future Tense
Sept. 22 2014 7:47 AM Predicting the Future for the U.S. Government The strange but satisfying work of creating the National Intelligence Council’s Global Trends report.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 22 2014 5:30 AM MAVEN Arrives at Mars
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.