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Athena D. Mutua

Professor of Law and Floyd H. and Hilda L. Hurst Faculty Scholar
University at Buffalo School of Law


Civil rights law; constitutional law (Fourteenth Amendment); critical race and feminist legal theory; law and political economy; race and the legal justice system

Portrait of Athena D. Mutua, University at Buffalo civil rights law and legal justice system expert.

Athena D. Mutua is an expert on civil rights, and the critical analysis of the role of law in both facilitating and hindering justice across race, class and gender. She can speak to the media about these issues, including in relation to the Black Lives Matter movement and the ways in which law, policing and race intersect.

Mutua is a co-founder of the interdisciplinary network of scholars exploring issues of law and economic inequality known as ClassCrits. She received the Jacob D. Hyman Award in 2017 for her work with students of color, the named faculty scholar title and scholarship in 2013 for her continued research, and the UB Exceptional Scholars Young Investigator’s Award in 2004 for her work on women and the Kenyan Constitution, and on progressive Black masculinities.

In addition to her legal scholarship, Mutua is invested in stimulating dialogue on important but largely unexamined issues, including topics tied to race and class. She is in the process of writing a book on the Black Power movement and the Kansas Nine Trial, building on her past research in this area.

She teaches a range of business and civil rights courses and writes in the areas of critical race theory, feminist legal theory and most recently in law and political economy.


Athena D. Mutua, JD
Professor of Law and Floyd H. and Hilda L. Hurst Faculty Scholar
University at Buffalo School of Law