The Lurie Institute for Disability Policy

Carrie Buck Distinguished Fellowship

2023 Fellow  Advisory Board

Carrie Buck Distinguished Fellowship header, with photo of Carrie and Emma Buck in 1924

The photograph displayed above is entitled "Carrie and Emma Buck at the Virginia Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded, taken by A.H. Estabrook the day before the Buck v. Bell trial in Virginia." Credit: Arthur Estabrook Papers, M.E. Grenander Special Collections & Archives, University at Albany, SUNY. Carrie Buck is on the photograph's left, next to her mother.

The second Carrie Buck Distinguished Fellowship keynote event will be held on March 7, 2024

Accessing Reproductive Justice: Using Intersectional Self-, Systems, and Community Advocacy to Create Inclusive Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare and Expression - A conversation with Robin Wilson-BeattieA conversation with Carrie Buck Distinguished Fellow Robin Wilson-Beattie and Rebecca Cokley | March 7, 2024 at 5 p.m. ET

📆 Register for the Keynote Event

About the Carrie Buck Distinguished Fellowship

In 1927, the US Supreme Court issued its infamous decision in the Buck v. Bell case, concerning the involuntary sterilization of Carrie Buck, a woman asserted to be "feeble minded." The majority opinion, which endorsed the involuntary sterilization of disabled people, was signed by Justice Louis Brandeis, after whom Brandeis University is named. "Three generations of imbeciles are enough," the decision pronounced. In spite of the ruling, over the past seventy years, researchers and advocates at Brandeis University have worked strenuously to combat discrimination against people with disabilities. As a university, we are working to address the legacy of Buck v. Bell in our work.

Close-up of Carrie Buck from photo of Carrie and Emma Buck in 1924To honor Carrie Buck's memory and to take steps to rectify the injustice to which she and thousands of other people in the United States have been subjected, the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy has established the Carrie Buck Distinguished Fellowship. The fellowship, funded by the Ford Foundation, is intended for activists, scholars, and community organizers with disabilities whose work draws national attention to systemic ableism in reproductive health policy.

During the residency, the Carrie Buck Distinguished Fellow  works with community members, researchers, and advocates to illuminate ways to eliminate ableist bias and create a healthcare system that meets the needs of all. The residency culminates in a public lecture hosted by the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy.

Our first Carrie Buck Distinguished Fellowship keynote event was held in March 2023

Learn more about the fellowship, its background, and our inaugural recipient, Laurie Bertram Roberts, in the short video below. More about Laurie is found at the link following.

Learn more about the 2023 Carrie Buck Fellow, Laurie Bertram Roberts

Helpful Resources

Lombardo, P. A. (2008). Three generations, no imbeciles: Eugenics, the Supreme Court, and Buck v. Bell.

Powell, R. M. (2021). From Carrie Buck to Britney Spears: Strategies for disrupting the ongoing reproductive oppression of disabled people. Virginia Law Review Online, 107, 246–271. https://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3902743