William L. Prosser Distinguished Professor Frank H. Wu has been awarded the 2020 John Hope Franklin Award for his longtime contributions to higher education and diversity.
Franklin, an American historian best known for his 1947 work From Slavery to Freedom, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1995. The Franklin award, issued by Diverse: Issues In Higher Education, is given to individuals who have made long-term contributions to higher education and have set a precedent for their work in the field. Previous recipients of this award include Bill and Melinda Gates, Dr. Johnnetta Cole, Maya Angelou, and civil rights icon U.S. Rep. John Lewis.
“I am humbled by this great honor,” said Wu. “I recognize there is much more for us to do to realize the ideals of our diverse democracy. We have to work together, guided by principles.”
The award will be conferred in a public ceremony in San Diego on March 16 during the American Council on Education conference.
Wu became William L. Prosser Distinguished Professor at UC Hastings Law following his service as Chancellor & Dean from 2010 to 2015. Among other courses, he teaches Asian Pacific Americans & the Law, Civil Procedure, Remedies, and Legal Ethics.
He was a member of the faculty at Howard University for a decade; dean of Wayne State University Law School in his hometown of Detroit; a visiting professor at Michigan; an adjunct professor at Columbia; and a Thomas C. Grey Teaching Fellow at Stanford. He also has taught at Johns Hopkins University twice, most recently during its 2020 January term; and at Peking University School of Transnational Law, twice.
In 2013, the National Jurist ranked Wu as the most influential dean in legal education and third in the nation among legal educators and advocates influencing the ongoing debate about legal
He is a prolific writer and blogger. Wu is the author of Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White and co-author of Race, Rights and Reparation: Law and the Japanese American Internment, both regularly adopted for classroom use. He has a regular column in the Daily Journal, a California legal newspaper, and his work has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Detroit Free Press, and San Francisco Chronicle. He also works extensively on a pro bono basis on actual cases and maintains an active schedule of media appearances and public speaking.
Wu is a deeply involved scholar dedicated to civic engagement and volunteer service. He was a board member of the Leadership Conference for Civil Rights Education Fund, and past president of the Committee of 100, a nonprofit seeking to promote better U.S.-China relations and the active participation of Chinese-Americans in public life, and has chaired many of its research projects. He also has been Trustee and Vice-Chair of the Board of Gallaudet University, the unique institution serving deaf and hard-of-hearing students, and Chair of the Washington, D.C. Human Rights Commission.