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Law Review Articles authored by Taifa:

  • “Let’s Talk About Reparations”: Columbia Journal of Race and Law, Spring 2019.

  • ​Interrelated Solutions to Integrative Issues:  A Multidisciplinary Look Behind the Cycle of Incarceration - Harvard Law and Policy Review, Vol 3:2 Summer 2009 (co-authored by Catherine Beane).   

  • Codification or Castration: The Applicability of the Intern'l Race Convention to the U.S. Criminal Justice System - 40:3 Howard Law Journal 641 (1997)

  • Cracked Justice:  A Critical Examination of Cocaine Sentencing - 27 University of   West Los Angeles Law Review 107 (1996). 

  • Civil Forfeiture vs. Civil Liberties - 39:1-2 New York Law School Law Review 95 (1994).

  • Three Strikes & You're Out: Mandatory Life Imprisonment for Third Time Felons - 20:2 University of Dayton Law Review 717 (1995)

Selected Articles/Blog Posts/Book Chapters/& Video Interviews 


  • Guest Blog Post: "Reparations: Has the Time Finally Come?” (ACLU June 17, 2019)

  • Article: "Clemency: An Inside Story from a Progressive Activist," (Federal Sentencing Reporter June 2017)

  • "White paper, "Racism in the Criminal Justice System: Institutionalized Genocide?" (American Constitution Society 2016) 

  • Video of Panel: "Striking the Balance: Sentencing and Public Safety in America" November, (Charles Koch Institute, 2015)

  • Article: "A Bittersweet Moment in History: Passage of the Fair Sentencing Act (NACDL Champion Magazine 2010)

  • ACS Guest Post, "My Brother's Keeper: How We Failed the Central Park 5,"   Bennett, Frazer & Taifa (March 14, 2014)

  • Article: "Righting Historical Wrongs Through Clemency," Washington Informer Newspaper, (February 28, 2014)

  • Blog Post: "Justice for Eight in Crack Cocaine Sentencing: Thousands More to Go," OSF Voices, (January 7, 2014)

  • Blog Post: "Judge Patricia Wald: A Champion of Freedom," November 20, 2013, OSF Voices, (November 20, 2013)

  • Video of Panel: The Era of Mass Incarceration, American Constitution Society Convention, September 11, 2013

  • Blog Post: "How to Slash the Cost and Size of Overcrowded U.S. Prisons OSF Voices (November 7, 2013)

  • ACS Video: Taifa talks to American Constitution Society blog on mass incarceration. (August 21, 2013)

  • Guest Blog Post: "Holder Seeks to Reform Harsh Drug Sentencing, Incarceration Laws, ACSBlog (August 13, 2013) 

  • Blog Post: "Cracking the Disparities: The Ongoing Battle for Fairness in Crack Sentencing," Huffington Post, (June 26, 2012)

  • ACS Guest Blog Post:  "Missing the Mark with Mandatory Minimums: 25 Years of a Flawed Strategy," (September 20, 2011)

  • Article: "A Bittersweet Moment in History", crack cocaine legislative update, Champion Magazine - NACDL (May 2010)

  • Video: Taifa Interview:  25 Years of Injustice: Sentencing Disparities for Crack and Powder Cocaine,The Coffee House, hosted by Angela Jordan Davis, Feb 1, 2010. 

  • Video Blog: "Taifa Calls for New Thinking on Criminal justice Policy, American Constitution Society (December 22, 2009)

  • Blog Post: "The Importance of an Integrative Approach to Justice," ACS Blog (December 4, 2009)

  • Moderator: "Reorienting Federal Criminal Justice Policy: An Opportunity for a More Integrative Approach?", featuring Senator Jim Webb, Congressman Bobby Scott & White House Domestic Policy Counsel Florentino Mariano Cuellar, with panel of experts (December 9, 2009). 

  • Policy Report: "Moving Toward a More Integrative Approach to Justice Reform, Behind the Cycle Project (February 2008). 

  • The Crack/Powder Disparity: Can the International Race Convention Provide a Basis for Relief?"  American Constitution Society (2006)

  • "Social Policy Implications of Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System," published in Color of Social Policy, Chapter Six

  • "Emmett Till:  A New DOJ Investigation is Welcomed," Watching Justice (May 12, 2004)

  • "Roadblocked Reentry: The Prison After Imprisonment" (November 13, 2003)

  • Report, "Re-Enfranchisement! A Guide for Individual Restoration of Voting RIghts in States that Permanently Disenfranchisement Former Felons." Advancement Project (September 2002)

  • Mock Trial: "Justice on Trial: Racial Disparities in the American Criml Justice System, written & produced for National Bar Assoc 2001.

  • Panelist: "Racial Profiling: Good Police Tactic or Harassment?" CATO Institute (May 15, 2001)

  • Report Introduction, "The Impact of the Criminal Justice System on Women and Their Families,"  2.1 Center for Research on African American Women Journal 11 (2001)

  • "Reflections From the Frontlines - An Insider's Perspective on the Crack Cocaine Controversy," 10:4 Federal Sentencing Reporter 200 (1998).

  • "Beyond Institutionalized Racism: The Genocidal Impact of Executive, Legislative, & Judicial Decision-Making in the Crack Cocaine Fiasco," National Bar Association Magazine, Vol. 10, No. 5 (1996).

  • Drug Laws 100 Times Harder on Blacks, Focus Magazine, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies (April 1995).

  • "Laying Down the Law, Race by Race: Crim Sentencing Falls Disproportionately Harsh on Blacks & Latinos" Legal Times (October 10, 1994).

  • "The Crime Bill: A Civil Liberties Perspective," National Bar Association Magazine (Sept/Oct 1994).

  • ACLU Analysis of Major Civil Liberties Abuses in Senate Crime Bill (principal drafter) January 7, 1994.

  • "Race + Three Strikes = Injustice," National Law Journal (March 2, 1994)

  • "Mandatory Minimum Sentences Open Up a Pandora's Box," National Prison Project Journal (July 1993).

  • Contributing author to Reparations Yes: The Legal and Political Reasons Why Blacks Should be Paid for the Enslavement of Our Ancestors.


  • Testimony Before the U.S. Sentencing Commission, "Whether Amendment 2 of the Fair Sentencing Act Should be Applied Retroactively, June 1, 2011. 

  • Testimony Before the American Bar Association Justice Kennedy Commission. (Nov. 14, 2003)

  • Written Statement for the Record to the House Crime Subcommittee, "Unfairness in Federal Cocaine Sentencing: Is it Time to Crack the 100 to 1 Disparity?" (May 21, 2009)

  • Testimony before the United States Sentencing Commission, "Cocaine and Federal Sentencing Policy. (Nov. 16, 2006)

  • Testimony before the Maryland State Judiciary in Support of Joint Resolution 4, "Reparations for the Enslavement of African Americans" (May 17, 2004)

  • Testimony before the Council of the District of Columbia, "MPD's Camera Surveillance System,"on behalf of the ACLU-NCA (June 13, 2002)

  • Testimony before the Committee on the Judiciary, Council of the District of Columbia, "The Use of Firearms and Excessive Use of Force by Metropolitan Police Officers." (Jan. 20, 1999)

  • Testimony before the Committee on the Judiciary, Council of the District of Columbia, Comments of the DC Bar Section on Criminal Law & Individual Rights, "The District of Columbia Nonviolent Offenders Mandatory-Minimum Sentences Amendment Act of 1994."  (Oct. 31, 1994)

  • Testimony before the House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Crime and Criminal Justice, testimony in opposition to "The Use of the National Guard in Civil Law Enforcement Activities." (Oct. 5, 1994)

  • Testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, "Statehood for the District of Columbia." (Aug. 1, 1994)

  • Testimony before the US Sentencing Commission on Proposed Guideline Amendments, "Disparity in Penalty Between Crack and Powder Cocaine." March 24, 1994)

  • Testimony before the Committee on Self-Determination, Council of the District of Columbia, Comments of the D.C. Bar Section on Criminal Law and Individual Rights, "Statehood for the District of Columbia.  (April 28, 1993)

  • Testimony before the Judiciary Committee, Council of the District of Columbia, "AIDS Policies of the District of Columbia Correctional System," on behalf of NCBL (June 12, 1991)

  • Testimony before the Committee on the Judiciary, Council of the District of Columbia, on FY 1991 Proposed Budget for the Office of Paternity and Child Support Enforcement. (March 1, 1991)

  • Testimony before Judiciary Committee, Council of the District of Columbia, "The Criminal Justice Improvement Act of 1989." on behalf of Women's Legal Defense Fund (Nov. 20, 1989)

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Board of Directors, 2018-present

Corrections Information Council

Legal Team, 2017-present

Legacy of GU272 Alliance

Commissioner, 2016-present

National African American Reparations Commission

Board of Advisors, 2009-2011
Institute of the Black World 21st Century

Board of Advisors, 2009-2012
Behind the Cycle

Commissioner, 2007-2015

Chairperson, 2012-2015

District of Columbia Commission on Human Rights


Member, 1999-present

American Bar Association


Member, 1998-present

National Bar Association


Member, 1984-present

Member, Board of Directors, 1992-98

Co-Chairperson, Section on Criminal Justice, 1992-98

President, D.C. Chapter, 1988-91

National Conference of Black Lawyers


Member, Board of Directors, 1989-91

National Lawyers Guild


Honorary Board 2013-2018

Member, Board of Directors, 1999-2008

Washington Council of Lawyers


Member, 1999-present

Washington Bar Association


Member, Board of Directors, 1998-2004

American Civil Liberties Union of National Capital Area


Member, Board of Directors, 1999-2001

D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program (FK Public Service Activities Comm)


Member, Board of Directors, 1999-2004

Bureau of Rehabilitation, Inc.


Member, Board of Directors, 1995-2001

D.C. Prisoners Legal Services, Inc.


Member, Board of Directors, 1993-95

Section Co-Chair, 1994-95

D.C. Bar Section on Criminal Law & Individual Rights


Member, 1989-present

National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers


Member 2003-present

National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice


Chair, Legislative Commission 1995-2005

Founding Member

National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America


Member, Board of Directors, 1992-98

Center for Study and Harassment of African Americans


Advisory Board, 2000-2002

American Assoc. of  Law Schools Pro Bono Committee


Member, 1995-2002

Community and Alumni Affairs Committee

Howard University School of Law


Chair, Board of Trustees, academic year 1999-2000

Roots Public Charter School


Member, Board of Directors, 1993-present

African Freedom Fund Treasury


Member, Board of Directors, 1980-2016

Kwanzaa Children's Party, Inc. Organizing Committee


Co-Chair, 1993-95

Leadership Conference on Civil Rights 

Steering Committee on D.C. Statehood


Member, 1991-93

Leadership Conference on Civil Rights

Steering Committee on Voting Rights


Coordinator and Trainer, 1995

Million Man March Legal Observer Committee


General Counsel, 1990-92

African American Writer's Guild


General Counsel, 1984-87

Republic of New Africa Ministry of Justice


Co-Counsel, 1992-96

Sundiata Acoli Freedom Campaign

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