Law Professor Ayesha Bell Hardaway named co-director of CWRU Social Justice Institute

CWRU School of Law Professor Ayesha Hardaway

Ayesha Bell Hardaway, assistant professor of law and director of the law school’s Social Justice Law Center, has been named co-director of the Social Justice Institute (SJI) at Case Western Reserve University.

Bell Hardaway is joined in the co-director role by Professor Mark Chupp, an assistant professor in the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, chair of the Concentration in Community Practice for Social Change Network and director of the Community Innovation Network. 

“It is an honor to be a part of this exciting and important moment in the life of the Social Justice Institute,” said Bell Hardaway. “I’ve long been committed to the radical notion that the wisdom and collective strength of marginalized can be collectively harnessed to secure liberation. This next phase of SJI demonstrates the University’s understanding of the importance of that work.”

As co-director of The Social Justice Institute, Bell Hardaway will continue the institute’s mission to create a just world, examining the root causes of social injustice and developing innovative solutions by supporting creative research and scholarship while engaging with social justice leaders, the university and our surrounding community.

“We couldn’t be more proud of Ayesha,” said Co-Dean Jessica Berg.  “She is the perfect person to undertake the challenges of the Social Justice Institute.”

“In addition to her extraordinary contributions to the community, Ayesha is making her mark as a scholar, with articles forthcoming in the Georgetown Law Journal and Boston University Law Review,” added Co-Dean Michael Scharf.   

Bell Hardaway joined the CWRU Law faculty in 2012 after working as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Cuyahoga County and a litigator in the Trial Department at Tucker Ellis LLP. In 2015, she was selected to serve on the Independent Monitoring Team appointed to evaluate police reforms to be implemented by the Cleveland Police Department under a federal consent decree.

Four years later, Bell Hardaway accepted the position of director of the law school’s Social Justice Law Center, bringing in distinguished speakers to campus and providing stipends for summer and semester-long Public Interest Law internships and externships to launch students’ careers in Social Justice.

“The work of the Social Justice Law Center remains important to the law school and will continue,” said Bell Hardaway. “My appointment as SJI co-director creates the space to more seamlessly include legal research into the institute's firm historical and community organizational underpinnings that began under the unparalleled leadership of Dr. Rhonda Williams and later Drs. Tim Black and John Flores. It is an exciting time for both the law school and the broader Case community.”