Deborah N. Archer is the Jacob K. Javits Professor at NYU and Professor of Clinical Law at the NYU School of Law. She also directs the Center on Race, Inequality, and the Law, and the Civil Rights Clinic at the NYU School of Law. Archer is a nationally recognized expert in civil rights, civil liberties, and racial justice.
In January 2021, she was elected national board president of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the first Black person to hold the position in the ACLU’s 101-year history.
Before the board presidency of the ACLU, Archer was a member of the ACLU’s executive committee and served as general counsel to the board. She is a former chair of the American Association of Law Schools’ Section on Civil Rights and Section on Minority Groups. For many years, she served on the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board, the body that investigates police misconduct. She was also a member of the board of the New York Civil Liberties Union, where she litigated in the areas of voting rights, employment discrimination, and school desegregation.
President Hamilton speaks with Professor Archer about her career as a civil rights attorney and scholar, her projects at NYU , her new role at the ACLU, and her view of the next steps—legal and cultural—toward the dismantling of racism within American institutions and society.