Willa Sachs is a PhD student in Sociology and Junior Fellow in the Center for Cultural Sociology. She received her B.A. in Sociology from Kenyon College in 2016. Her research commitments center on how cultural, political and legal constructions of race are mobilized or reconfigured via social movements. Prior to attending Yale, she worked at the American Bar Foundation in Chicago, coordinating the production of the socio-legal journal Law & Social Inquiry. In her current work, Willa examines on-the-ground interpretations of the U.S. Constitution in the context of the New Haven Black Panther trials of 1970-71. In particular, she is interested in how the Panthers repudiated the American legal system while simultaneously using the foundational tenets of the Constitution – including egalitarianism, individual rights, and rule by “the people” – as an ideological template within their own political agenda.
Her latest op-ed on the New Haven Black Panthers can be found here.