john a. powell, J.D., is an internationally recognized scholar on race, poverty, and regional equity.
Powell serves as the Executive Director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, as well as the Williams Chair in Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at the Moritz College of Law. Under his leadership, The Kirwan Institute has taken a national leadership role in researching, developing, and advocating for regional solutions to problems associated with racialized space.
He is also the Director of the Haas Diversity Research Center (HDRC), which supports research to generate specific prescriptions for changes in policy and practice that address disparities related to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and socioeconomics in California and nationwide. powell has developed an “opportunity-based” framework for thinking about how an individual’s destiny is affected by a complex and interconnected web of opportunity structures that significantly affect their quality of life.
Previously, Powell founded and directed the Institute on Race and Poverty at the University of Minnesota. He has also served as the director of Legal Services of Greater Miami and was National Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union.