Thalia González

Assistant Professor, Politics

Thalia González is an Assistant Professor of Politics at Occidental College.


  • Office: Johnson 310
  • Email: thaliagonzalez@oxy.edu
  • Phone: 323-259-2896

Education: B.A., Arizona State University; J.D., Northwestern University

In her teaching and scholarship, Professor González engages interdisciplinary, multicultural, and community-focused understandings of justice, law, society, race, politics, and institutional reform.  Her research and teaching interests include restorative justice, contemplative practice, human rights, civil rights, narrative inquiry, juvenile justice, law and organizing, and community legal practice.  For more than a decade, she has integrated contemplative practices as a critical pedagogy in her teaching.  As a professor she challenges her students to see themselves as not simply working for social change, but rather mindful collaborators building the power of individuals and communities seeking to reverse legal, political, economic, and social subordination.  Professor González is currently engaged in a project that asks broad questions about how in an unjust world, what is the relationship between individual transformation and collective liberation?  Professor González is a member of the Civil Rights Project Research to Practice Collaborative at University of California, Los Angeles, and since 2009 has studied the use of restorative justice in the context of school culture, violence, and addressing racial disparities in discipline.  In 2012-2013, Professor González was a Visiting Scholar at the Center for the Study of Law and Society at Berkeley Law.  Prior to joining the faculty at Occidental College, she was a practicing attorney, community organizer, and held faculty appointments at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and Arizona State University.  She currently serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors of CADRE, and on the Leadership Team of the Yoga and Body Image Coalition.

In spring 2015, Professor González is co-hosting a three-session series, Mindfulness & Social Justice: From Personal Transformation to Collective Liberation, at Occidental College.  The series is a space for discussion, reflection, and practice with national experts in diverse areas of anti-oppression, anti-subordination, and social change work, all who share a commitment to contemplative practice.  Each session will be a time to practice together, build community, and engage in meaningful dialogue on how mindfulness informs justice work, and provides an opportunity to cultivate a personal and collective sense of clarity, meaning, and purpose.  The sessions will also allow reflection on how being mindful can support being in alliance and solidarity with those most often marginalized and excluded from spaces of power and privilege.


Thalia González, Reorienting Restorative Justice: Initiating a New Dialogue of Rights Consciousness, Community Empowerment and Politicization (forthcoming in spring 2015, Cardozo J. Conflict Resol.).

Thalia González & Giovanni Saarman, Regulating Pollutants, Good Neighbor Agreements, and Negative Externalities: Who Bears the Burden of Protecting Communities? 41 Ecology L.Q. 37 (2014)

Thalia González, Reclaiming the Promise of the Indian Child Welfare Act: A Study of State Incorporation and Adoption of Legal Protections for Indian Status Offenders, 42 N.M. L. Rev. 131 (2012)

Thalia González, Keeping Kids in Schools: Restorative Justice, Punitive Discipline, and the School to Prison Pipeline, 41 J.L. & Educ. 281 (2012)

Thalia González, Restoring Justice: Community Organizing to Transform School Discipline Policies, 15 U.C. Davis J. Juv. L. & Pol’y 2 (2011)

Thalia González, A Model for Economic Empowerment: Minority Business Development and Advocacy Before the California Public Utilities Commission, Los Angeles Pub. Int. L.J. 104 (2010)

Book Chapters and Edited Volumes

Thalia González, Socializing Schools: Addressing Racial Disparities in Discipline Through Restorative Justice, in Closing the School Discipline Gap: Equitable Remedies for Excessive Exclusion (Daniel J. Losen ed., 2014)

Thalia González & Edwin González-Santin, The Indian Child Welfare Act: A Legal Mandate for Social Justice and Preservation of American Indian/Native Alaskan Heritage, in Social Issues in Contemporary Native America: Reflections from Turtle Island (Hilary N. Weaver ed., 2014)

Thalia González, Protecting the Future of Tribal Communities: Ensuring Compliance with the Indian Welfare Act, in Big Ideas for Children in the Southwest (First Focus ed., 2012).

Thalia González & Benjamin Cairns, Moving Beyond Exclusion: Integrating Restorative Practices and Impacting School Culture in Denver Public Schools, in Justice for Kids: Keeping Kids Out of the Juvenile Justice System (Nancy E. Dowd ed., 2011) 

Conference Papers

Thalia González, Integrating Experiential Legal Education into the Undergraduate Curriculum: A New Dimension to Critical Service-Learning, paper presented at the American Political Science Association Teaching and Learning Conference (February 7-9, 2014).

Thalia González, Community-based Experiential Undergraduate Legal Education and Collaboration with Law Schools, paper presented at the Society of American Law Teachers Teaching Conference (December 10-11, 2010).

Sponsored Research 

2012-2014, Thalia González.  The Emergence and Experience of Human Rights in South Los Angeles and Beyond.  Occidental College Anderson Grant.  Assessment of localized human rights practice. 

2012-2013, Thalia González. Race and Gender Disparities in Discipline: A Research to Practice Collaborative.  Atlantic Philanthropies.  Assessment of restorative justice practice in schools and development of recommendations for practice, policy, and research.

2010-2011, Thalia González. The Use of Restorative Practices at North High School. Occidental College Anderson Grant.  Assessment of the use restorative justice by students and teachers to address conflict. 


American Politics and Public Policy
Community Law Internship
Constitutional Law I
Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
The Fourth Amendment 
Juvenile Justice
Law and Society
Public Interest Law Practicum
Race and Law
Rebellious Lawyering
Supreme Court Politics

Legal Links


http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/index.html. Archive containing opinions of the court issued since 1990.  

http://www.findlaw.com/casecode/supreme.html.  Free source for finding cases (federal and the state level).

http://www.landmarkcases.org/.  Wide range of materials about landmark cases, including secondary sources, and a helpful glossary.

The Supreme Court & the Justices

http://www.supremecourtus.gov/.  Official site of the Supreme Court and provides information about the history and operation of the Court, links to cases, as well as biographical information about the justices.

http://www.supremecourthistory.org/. Official site for the Historical Society of the Supreme Court and is resource for information about the Court (includes a timeline, biographies of the justices, and information about including landmark cases).

http://www.oyez.org/oyez/frontpage.  Multimedia site that includes audio transcripts of oral arguments in major cases, a virtual tour of the Court, as well as biographical information for sitting justices, information about pending cases, and news items about the Court. 

News & Press Coverage

http://news.findlaw.com/legalnews/us/sc/. News about the Supreme Court and other federal courts.

http://www.law.com/jsp/scm/index.jsp.  News and commentary about the Supreme Court.

http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/currentawareness/ussupremes.php. News about the Supreme Court, as well as links to blogs and others sources of information and commentary about the Court.


http://www.scotusblog.com/movabletype/.  Discussions about the Court and its cases.

http://scotus.blogspot.com/ Information about pending cases.

http://supremecourtwatch.tpmcafe.com/.  Commentary about current cases and Supreme Court news.

Other Resources

http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/help/constRedir.html.  Links to the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, later amendments, the Federalist Papers, and other materials.

http://www.law.indiana.edu/uslawdocs/declaration.html.  The Declaration of Independence.

http://www.usconstitution.net/. A Comprehensive, annotated on-line guide to the Constitution.

http://www.constitution.org/.  Secondary information about the Constitution.

http://www.law.ou.edu/hist/federalist/.  The Federalist Papers.

http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/federal/fed.htm.  The Federalist Papers, Annotated.

http://confinder.richmond.edu/  Links to other Constitutions.

Community Partners