Georgia State University College of Law Children’s Constitutional Rights Professor Tanya Washington, is part of the Advancement of Children’s Constitutional Rights, a consortium of three law professors connecting teaching, research, scholarship, and advocacy to develop and promote constitutional frameworks that center children in four substantive areas: climate, education, families and juvenile justice.
ATLANTA— A $2.1 million gift from an anonymous donor will support a new project to advance children’s constitutional rights. The Advancement of Children’s Constitutional Rights consortium includes three nationally recognized children’s rights legal scholars: Tanya Washington of Georgia State University College of Law, Catherine Smith, of the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, and Robin Walker Sterling of Northwestern Pritzker School of Law.
“This generous gift will allow for focused study of a critically important aspect of law relating to the rights of children, and it makes a significant investment in Professor Washington’s research, scholarship and teaching," said LaVonda Reed, dean of Georgia State University College of Law. "As Professor of Children’s Constitutional Rights, Professor Washington will work across the College of Law and the university and with her colleagues at our partner institutions to achieve the goals of the consortium. This gift supports the type of impactful academic research that is integral to the strategic vision of our institution.”
“I am excited about working with my academic partners to develop a unified theory of children’s constitutional rights, with the goal of improving their lived experiences in homes, schools, in foster and institutional care facilities, and in the juvenile legal system,” said Washington, who will work on the project with Professors Smith and Walker Sterling.
The consortium is inspired by the reality that lawyers, judges and children’s advocates who engage with significant national issues affecting children including gun violence, educational inequalities, climate change and mass incarceration, often de-emphasize children’s constitutional rights or take legal doctrines developed in adult contexts and reflexively apply them to young people.
The scholars in the consortium are developing a law school casebook titled “Children and the Constitution,” one of the first of its kind. They are also creating a children’s rights course and a series of invitation-only workshops that will convene other children’s rights scholars, advocates, organizers, policymakers and stakeholders to develop strategies for uplifting children in the four critical areas. The first workshop will be held at Georgia State College of Law in Atlanta in spring 2024.