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Provost's Lecture on Diversity

The University of Pennsylvania Provost presents The Annual Provost’s Lecture on Diversity

The University of Pennsylvania Provost presents The Annual Provost’s Lecture on Diversity

Kenji Yoshino

Covering: The Hidden Assault on Our Human Rights

Tuesday, October 14, 2014 • 4 pm

Class of 49 Auditorium, Houston Hall

Reception to follow

University of Pennsylvania Campus / Free & Open to the Public

Register here


Our society claims to embrace racial, gender, and physical differences. Yet, it still routinely denies equal treatment when these groups refuse to downplay—or “cover”—their differences. In his book, Covering, Kenji Yoshino offered a new paradigm for diversity.

Kenji Yoshino is the Chief Justice Earl Warren Professor of Constitutional Law at the NYU School of Law. His new project is “Uncovering,” a groundbreaking contribution in the ongoing war for talent, which deals with, among other things, “covering” in the workplace. Yoshino is also a trusted speaker on same-sex marriage in America, having covered the topic for nearly two decades, from various angles: personal, political, legislative, even economic.  In his groundbreaking book, Covering, Yoshino fuses legal manifesto with autobiography. In it, he argues that each of us “covers”—that, bending to societal pressure, we tone down  aspects of our personality to gain acceptance from the mainstream. A “common read” 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 also author of A Thousand Times More Fair, in which he takes ten Shakespeare plays and ties them to a contemporary question of justice.

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.