Rachel D. Godsil

Co-Founder and Co-Director

Rachel Godsil

Rachel Godsil is Co-Founder and Co-Director of Perception Institute and a Professor of Law and Chancellor’s Scholar at Rutgers Law School. She collaborates with social scientists on empirical research to identify the efficacy of interventions to address implicit bias, racial anxiety, and stereotype threat. She regularly leads workshops and presentations addressing the role of bias and anxiety associated with race, ethnicity, religion, and gender, focusing on education, criminal justice, health care, and the workplace.

Godsil is a lead author of Perception Institute reports, including The Science of Equality in Education: The Impact of Implicit Bias, Racial Anxiety, and Stereotype Threat on Student Outcomes (2018), The “Good Hair” Study: Explicit and Implicit Attitudes Toward Black Women’s Hair (2017), and The Science of Equality, Volume 2: The Effects of Gender Roles, Implicit Bias, and Stereotype Threat on the Lives of Women and Girls (2016). With Perception, she has collaborated with other organizations to produce influential reports, such as a research review with Story At Scale entitled What Are We Up Against? An Intersectional Examination of Stereotypes Associated with Gender? (2020), a toolkit with the Executives’ Alliance, His Story: Shifting Narratives of Boys and Men of Color (2018), and a volume of the PopJustice initiative, Pop Culture, Perceptions, and Social Change: A Research Review (2016). Rachel has also co/authored numerous articles and book chapters such as: Promoting Fairness? Examining the Efficacy of Implicit Bias Training in the Criminal Justice System (Bias in the Law, 2020), Prosecuting Fairly: Addressing the Challenges of Implicit Bias, Racial Anxiety, and Stereotype Threat (CDAA Prosecutor’s Brief, Vol. 40, No. 2, 2018),  The Moral Ecology of Policing: A Mind Science Approach to Race and Policing in the United States in The Routledge Handbook of Criminal Justice Ethics (The Routledge Handbook of Criminal Justice Ethics, 2016); Why Race Matters in Physics Class (64 U.C.L.A. L. Rev. Disc. 40, 2016); Race, Ethnicity, and Place Identity: Implicit Bias and Competing Belief Systems (37 Hawaii L. Rev. 313, 2015), Implicit Bias in the Courtroom, (59 U.C.L.A. L. Rev. 1184, 2012), and A Tale of Two Neighborhoods: Implicit Bias in Environmental Decision-Making, in Implicit Racial Bias in the Law (Cambridge University Press, 2011). She also co-authored amicus briefs on behalf of empirical social psychologists in both iterations of Fisher v. Texas and the National Parent Teacher Association in the Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District litigation at the Supreme Court.

Rachel is on the advisory boards for Research, Integration, Strategies, and Evaluation (RISE) for Boys and Men of Color at the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education, The Systemic Justice Project at Harvard Law School, and the Poverty and Race Research Action Council. Her teaching and research interests include civil rights, constitutional law, property, land use, environmental justice, and education.

Her recent property work focuses on gentrification, the mortgage crisis and eminent domain, as well as the intersection of race, poverty, and land use decisions. Rachel served as Chair of the New York City Rent Guidelines Board in 2014 and 2015. After serving as the convener for the Obama campaign’s Urban and Metropolitan Policy Committee and an advisor to the Department of Housing and Urban Development transition team, Rachel co-directed a report to HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan entitled “Retooling HUD for a Catalytic Federal Government.

During law school, Rachel served as the Executive Article Editor of the Michigan Law Review, was awarded the Henry M. Bates Memorial Award, and elected to the Order of the Coif. After graduation, she clerked for John M. Walker of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Rachel was an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. She was an Associate Counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, focusing on environmental justice, as well as an associate with Berle, Kass & Case and Arnold & Porter in New York City.

Previously, Rachel was Eleanor Bontecou Professor of Law at Seton Hall University Law School. She joined the School of Law in 2000 and was recognized for her teaching by being nominated for Professor of the Year in 2011, 2002 and 2003.  In 2003-2004, she was awarded the Researcher of the Year in Law by Seton Hall University. During fall of 2007, Professor Godsil was a Visiting Professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and she taught property at New York University Law School in spring 2009. Rachel resides with her family in Brooklyn, NY.