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Guns and Domestic Violence: U.S. and International Human Rights Law Perspectives

Join us during Domestic Violence Awareness Month for a discussion about guns and domestic violence. Cincinnati Law School Dean Verna Williams, Sherry Honeycutt Everett – Legal Policy Director at the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and Duke Law’s International Human Rights Clinic faculty will discuss issues of domestic abuse and firearms in the United States including what it means to frame and address this issue using a human rights-based approach.

This program will be moderated by Professor Darrell A.H. Miller, Melvin G. Shimm Professor of Law and Faculty Co-Director of the Duke Center for Firearms Law.

This event is sponsored by the Center for Firearms Law. It is a part of the Human Rights in Practice series, which is co-sponsored by Duke Law’s International Human Rights Clinic and the Center for International and Comparative Law.

The event is free and open to all—no registration required—but space is limited. Lunch will be provided. For more information, please contact Balfour Smith at bsmith@law.duke.edu or Allison Rackley at allison.rackley@law.duke.edu.

Sponsored by the Duke Law International Human Rights Clinic, the Duke Law Center for International and Comparative Law, the Duke Environmental Law Society, the Duke Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute, the Duke Law Environmental Law & Policy Clinic, the Human Rights Law Society, and the International Law Society. 


Verna L. Williams

Dean Verna L. Williams joined the University of Cincinnati College of Law in 2001 after practicing many years in the areas of civil and women’s rights. Prior to her appointment as Dean, she taught in the areas of family law, gender discrimination, and constitutional law. In addition, she co-directed the College’s Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice with Professors Kristin Kalsem and Emily Houh.

Before joining the College of Law, Dean Williams was Vice President and Director of Educational Opportunities at the National Women’s Law Center, where she focused on issues of gender equity in education. During her time at the Center, Dean Williams was lead counsel and successfully argued before the United States Supreme Court Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education, which established that educational institutions have a duty to respond to and address complaints of student-to-student sexual harassment.

Dean Williams also clerked for the Hon. David S. Nelson, U.S. District Judge for the District of Massachusetts. After the clerkship, she practiced law at the Washington, D.C., office of Sidley & Austin and at the U.S. Department of Justice.

Dean Williams’s research examines the intersection of race, gender, and class in law and policy. She has presented papers at such venues as the Latina/o Critical Race Theory Conference and meetings of the Association of Law, Culture and the Humanities. Dean Williams also has served as a consultant for the Ford Foundation; in that capacity, she chaired the convening of a national conference at UC entitled Women Coming Together: Claiming the Law for Social Change. Dean Williams received the Goldman Prize for Excellence in Teaching in 2004 and 2011.

Dean Williams is a cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School and Georgetown University.


Sherry Honeycutt Everett

Sherry Honeycutt Everett is a native North Carolinian with over ten years of experience litigating on behalf of survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. She holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as well as a Master of Arts in Teaching and a Bachelor of Arts in History and Women’s Studies from UNC-Chapel Hill. Prior to serving as the Legal and Policy Director of the Coalition, Sherry worked on behalf of survivors in both private practice and the nonprofit legal sectors, including as a staff attorney at Legal Aid of North Carolina’s Durham office. Sherry has experience on numerous councils, committees and task forces dedicated to improving the lives of survivors, and has served as a member of the North Carolina Bar Association’s Board of Governors as well as a member of the NCCADV Board of Directors.

As passionate a teacher as a lawyer, Sherry spent four years teaching in North Carolina public schools, and considers being an educator one of the most important parts of her job as an attorney. From educating clients, legislators and the public to conducting trainings to teaching law students as an adjunct professor at UNC law school, Sherry considers it a privilege to help people genuinely understand the law and to educate people on how effective, data-driven law and policy can improve the lives of survivors.

Personal pronouns: she/her/hers


Aya Fujimura-Fanselow

Aya Fujimura-Fanselow is Senior Lecturing Fellow and Supervising Attorney of the Duke International Human Rights Clinic. Prior to joining Duke Law, she developed extensive expertise in human rights advocacy, clinical teaching, fact-finding, research, litigation, capacity-building, and coalition-building within the United States and abroad. Her work has primarily focused on gender and human rights, as well as economic, social, and cultural rights; transitional justice; reproductive rights; and criminal justice with a focus on pre-trial detention.

At ESCR-Net (International Network for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights), Aya strategically developed and coordinated collective advocacy projects to advance women’s economic, social, and cultural rights. At the International Center for Transitional Justice, based in New York and Kathmandu, Nepal, she spearheaded efforts to integrate gender into all aspects of transitional justice mechanisms in Nepal. As Legal Adviser for International Litigation and Advocacy at the Center for Reproductive Rights in New York, Aya developed cases to protect and promote women’s reproductive rights before regional and international fora. Upon graduating from law school, as a Georgetown Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellow based at Bread for the City, she provided legal services to immigrant women to obtain or maintain public benefits and engaged in community outreach and systemic reform efforts. Additionally, while based in Mexico City, she undertook a range of consultancies with key national and international non-governmental organizations (NGO), including Amnesty International, US Human Rights Network, Open Society Foundations, and GIRE, a Mexico City-based reproductive rights NGO.

Aya served as a Crowley Fellow and Adjunct Professor of Law at the Leitner Center for International Law and Justice at Fordham Law School. She also serves as a contributing author or researcher on various publications, and was lead author on a report emerging from the Bolivia project (“We are Left to Rot”: Arbitrary and Excessive Pretrial Detention in Bolivia (2013)).

Raised in New York and Tokyo, Aya received her J.D. from Fordham Law School, where she was a Stein Scholar in Public Interest Law and Ethics. Upon graduating, she was awarded a post-graduate Tolan Fellowship in Human Rights and the National Association of Women Lawyers Award for outstanding law graduate. She received her B.A. with honors from Bryn Mawr College.


October 14, 2019
12:30 pm - 2:30 pm


Duke Law School International Human Rights Clinic
Duke Law School Center for International and Comparative Law
Duke Environmental Law Society
Duke Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute
Environmental Law & Policy Clinic
Human Rights Law Society
International Law Society


Duke Law School Room 3037
210 Science Drive
Durham, NC 27708 United States
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