Intersectionality in the American South

Funded through Support by the Mellon Foundation


Core Team


Professor Tanya Washington Hicks, Professor of Law

Tanya Washington Hicks is a Professor of Law at Georgia State University College of Law. She earned her J.D. from The University of Maryland School of Law and then clerked for Associate Judge Robert M. Bell on the Maryland Court of Appeals. After practicing as a toxic tort defense litigator in the Baltimore office of Piper & Marbury, she completed two fellowships and earned her LL.M. from Harvard Law School.

Professor Washington Hicks has taught Civil Procedure I and II, Family Law, Education Law and Race and Law at Georgia State for the past 18 years. Her research and scholarship focus on issues related to educational equity, domestic violence, racial justice, inclusion and diversity, marriage equality, and children’s constitutional rights. Her articles and op-eds have been published in law journals and periodicals across the nation and Professor Washington Hicks has co-authored five (5) amicus briefs filed in U.S. Supreme Court cases, including in the Court’s marriage equality decision, Obergefell v. Hodges. Her brief was cited by Justice Kennedy in the majority opinion of that landmark ruling.

Professor Washington Hicks believes the true value of the law lies in its capacity to improve the human condition and this creed animates her work. She served for three years on the Atlanta Human Relations Commission, volunteered with various organizations that provide support to Atlanta’s unsheltered population, cooked and served food at area soup kitchens, filed several amicus briefs in Georgia appellate cases and in federal circuit and U.S. Supreme Court cases, and provided countless hours of pro-bono work. Her work as an educator activist also includes serving for 2 years as Director of the John Lewis Fellowship Program, a Humanity in Action program funded by a grant to the National Center for Civil and Human Rights from the Mellon Foundation. Professor Washington’s work as a public intellectual has been recognized and celebrated by the Gate City Bar, with the President’s Award for Excellence, and by Georgia State University, with the Alumni Distinguished Faculty Award for Teaching and Scholarship. Professor Washington currently serves as President of the Faculty of the African Diaspora Association (FADA) for Georgia State University, and she frequently conducts team building and diversity training and workshops for organizations, law firms and university departments.

Student Workshop Coordinator

Dr. Desmond Francis Goss, Senior Lecturer of Sociology and Social Justice Certificate Program Director

Dr. Desmond Francis Goss earned a BA in Psychology, an MA in Public Sociology, and a Ph.D. in Sociology from Georgia State University in 2017, where they are now a Senior Lecturer of Sociology, Director of Undergraduate Studies in Sociology, and Director of the Social Justice Certificate Program. They are a theory-driven mixed-methods scholar-activist, whose research, teaching, and service involve critical analyses of lived experience and power at the intersection of varied sociopolitical identities, particularly race, gender, and sexuality, for the sustenance of radically liberated communities. Their work is published in two edited volumes, including Sex Matters and Focus on Social Problems. Their book Race and Masculinity in Gay Men’s Pornography: Deconstructing the Big Black Beast was published by Routledge in November 2021.

Podcast Director/Coordinator

Dr. Katie L. Acosta, Associate Professor of Sociology

Katie L. Acosta is an Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Sociology at Georgia State University. She is the author of two books: Amigas y Amantes: Sexually Nonconforming Latinas Negotiate Family and most recently Queer Stepfamilies: The Path to Social and Legal Recognition. Queer Stepfamilies highlights the complex dynamics that influence lesbian, bisexual, queer and transgender parented families’ strength and resilience. In addition, her work appears in the Journal of Family Theory & Review, Family Relations, Sexualities, Journal of Homosexuality, Sexualities Research and Social Policy, and Gender & Society.

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