Gwendolyn Mink writes and teaches about the race, class, and gender dynamics of law, social policy, and social movements. With Wilma Mankiller, Marysa Navarro, Gloria Steinem and Barbara Smith, she co-edited The Reader's Companion to U.S. Women's History (1998), which is the first general reference work of its kind. Much of Professor Mink's research deals with the U.S. welfare system and its reform. Her most recent book, Welfare's End (1998) analyzes the nation's 30-year campaign to reform and ultimately to end welfare as a campaign also waged against poor women's rights. Her other books include The Wages of Motherhood: Inequality in the Welfare State, 1917-1942(1995), which won the Victoria Schuck Book Award from the American Political Science Association for the best book on women and politics. Between 1993 and 1996, she drew upon her expertise in welfare policy and politics to help lead a feminist mobilization against punitive welfare reform. Since 1995, she has co-chaired the Women's Committee of One Hundred, which worked to defeat the Personal Responsibility Act.
Born in Chicago and raised in Hawaii and Washington, D.C., Professor Mink attended the University of Chicago from 1970 to 1972, received her bachelor's degree from the University of California at Berkeley in 1974, and earned her Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1982. She is a Professor of Politics at the University of California at Santa Cruz.