The U.S. Department of State and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board have selected UDC Law Professor Marcy L. Karin as the Fulbright Scotland Distinguished Scholar at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at University of Edinburgh. During the 2022-2023 academic year, Karin will work on a project titled Menstrual Justice at Work and School: Public Policy Lessons from Scotland’s Period Products Law.
Karin is a leading scholar, advocate and legislative lawyer on the issue of menstrual equity, a rapidly expanding area of law and policy. Menstrual equity broadly encompasses efforts to eliminate systemic oppression related to menstruation and to support menstruating individuals, including through access to affordable – or free – and safe menstrual products. In 2020, Scotland approved the Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Bill, which not only requires access to free menstrual products for “anyone who needs them” but also tackles period stigma. Karin will research the impact of this groundbreaking act and the role of law in addressing menstrual needs at work and school, including accommodations, safety provisions and anti-discrimination. Her project includes on-the-ground observations, interviews and research into legislative and regulatory activity, advocacy campaigns, collective action, litigation, voluntary practices and other implementation activities resulting in important systemic reform in Scotland and the United Kingdom.
“UDC Law is proud of Professor Karin’s phenomenal menstrual equity work with her students, in her scholarship and in service,” said Dean Renée Hutchins. “This Fulbright Distinguished Scholar Award will provide a platform to develop new collaborations and produce academic and practical reform work at the intersection of employment, education, gender, racial, disability and menstrual justice.”
Karin is Director of the UDC Law Legislation and Civil Rights Clinic, where she has worked with students to represent nonprofit clients advancing menstrual equity legislation on the local and national levels. She has led successful campaigns to eliminate the tampon tax in the District of Columbia; improve menstrual education and product access in schools, shelters and carceral spaces and minimize menstruation-related barriers during standardized exams for entering the legal profession. As a Fulbright Distinguished Scholar, she is looking forward to adding a comparative international lens to her work, and she is excited to engage with others researching at the Institute and her co-hosts at genderED and Edinburgh Law School.
As a Fulbright Distinguished Scholar, Karin will engage in cutting-edge research and expand professional networks, often continuing research collaborations started abroad and laying the groundwork for forging future partnerships between institutions. Upon returning to their home countries, institutions, labs and classrooms, Fulbright Distinguished Scholars share their stories and often become active supporters of international exchange, inviting foreign scholars to campus and encouraging colleagues and students to go abroad. As Fulbright Scholar alumni, their careers are enriched by joining a network of thousands of esteemed scholars, many of whom are leaders in their fields. Fulbright alumni include 60 Nobel Prize laureates, 86 Pulitzer Prize recipients and 37 who have served as a head of state or government.
The University of the District of Columbia has been named a Fulbright Historically Black College and University (HBCU) Institutional Leader for two consecutive years (2018-2020). Karin’s selection makes the second Fulbright scholar at UDC Law over the last three years. Prof. LaShanda Adams was named a Fulbright Scholar in 2019 by the Australian-American Fulbright Commission, where she worked on a project titled Implementing System Reform: Improving Child Protection in South Australia (and the United States). Before becoming Legal Director at Children’s Law Center, Adams most recently taught in UDC Law’s top-ranked Clinical Program, where she directed a section of the General Practice Clinic that focused on issues affecting parents and children in poverty.
The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program and is designed to forge lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries, counter misunderstandings and help people and nations work together toward common goals.
Read Professor Karin’s scholarship, whitepapers and testimony about menstrual law and policy.