A Tribute to Joyce A. Hughes

Uzoamaka Emeka Nzelibe | November 12, 2023

Northwestern Law Professor and Seigle Immigration Clinic for Immigrant Youth and Families Director Uzoamaka Emeka Nzelibe presents the trailblazing history and legacy of Professor Joyce A. Hughes. Born in the segregated South, Professor Hughes overcame numerous barriers on her way to accomplishing many historic firsts. Among these firsts, Professor Hughes was the first Black woman to receive tenure in any department in the history of Northwestern University.

In her tribute, Professor Nzelibe recounts the ways in which Professor Hughes paved the way for Black women in law and legal academia—including Professor Nzelibe herself, who took over Professor Hughes’s seminar on refugee and asylum law.