Mehrsa Baradaran

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Mehrsa Baradaran
Mehrsa Baradaran
Born (1978-04-03) April 3, 1978 (age 43)[1]
EducationBrigham Young University (BA)
New York University (JD)
EmployerUniversity of California, Irvine School of Law
Notable work
How the Other Half Banks: Exclusion, Exploitation, and the Threat to Democracy
The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap

Mehrsa Baradaran is a law professor specializing in banking law at the University of California, Irvine.[2] Her book How the Other Half Banks has received national and international media coverage.

Early life and education[edit]

Baradaran was born in Orumieh, Iran, in 1978 and immigrated to the United States with her family in 1986. She earned her bachelor's degree cum laude from Brigham Young University and her J.D. degree cum laude from New York University.[3] She served as a member of the New York University Law Review. She was an Academic Research Fellow at the New York University School of Law.


She joined the law faculty at the University of Georgia School of Law in 2012 and was the J. Alton Hosch Associate Professor, teaching contracts and banking law.[4] Prior to that position, she taught banking regulation, property, and administrative law at Brigham Young University's J. Reuben Clark Law School.[5] Baradaran practiced law in the Davis, Polk & Wardwell financial institutions group in New York City.[3] The Huffington Post described her as one of "a powerful cohort of Mormon women of color scholar-activists... who are powerful critics of racism, colonialism, and economic exploitation".[6]

In November 2020, Baradaran was named a volunteer member of the Joe Biden presidential transition Agency Review Team to support transition efforts related to the United States Department of Treasury and the Federal Reserve.[7]

Personal life[edit]

She spoke about her experience as a refugee from Iran in Slate in January 2017. She pointed out that she was one of the "immigrants and refugees from 'terrorist countries' that soon will be banned by executive order from coming [to America]". She concluded: "The irony for me is that it was Iran's tribalism and nationalism that put my family out in the first place. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's regime had said 'Iran First', too. They silenced the press, kicked out all the 'others', and ran the liberal intellectuals out of the country. I hope that's not what happens here. But even if it does, this is my home and I will keep working to make America great because I have so much hope in America".[8]


Both Baradaran[9][10] and her first book How the Other Half Banks: Exclusion, Exploitation, and the Threat to Democracy (ISBN 9780674286061)[11] have received national and international media coverage, the book having been featured in the New York Times,[12] the Atlantic,[13] the Financial Times,[14] the Irish Examiner,[15] American Public Media's Marketplace,[16] C-SPAN's Washington Journal,[17] and TEDxUGA.[18] In the book, she proposes postal banking, an idea that was endorsed by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.[19][20][21] She gave a speech on the book and her thoughts on America's banking system generally to the American Postal Workers Union and the National Association of Letter Carriers on 15 October 2015, again suggesting a return to postal banking, which was discontinued in 1967.[22]

Her second book, The Color of Money: Black Banking and the Racial Wealth Gap was published in 2017 by Harvard University Press.[3] She has also published articles including "Regulation by Hypothetical" in the Vanderbilt Law Review, "It's Time for Postal Banking" in the Harvard Law Review Forum, "Banking and the Social Contract" in the Notre Dame Law Review, "How the Poor Got Cut Out of Banking" in the Emory Law Journal, "Reconsidering the Separation of Banking and Commerce" in the George Washington Law Review and "The ILC and the Reconstruction of U.S. Banking" in the SMU Law Review.[citation needed] In 2020 her book The Color of Money inspired Netflix to commit $100 million to support Black communities.[23]


  1. ^ "Baradaran, Mehrsa, 1978-". Library of Congress Authorities. Retrieved 19 November 2017.
  2. ^ "Mehrsa Baradaran". UCI Law. Retrieved 26 July 2019.
  3. ^ a b c "Mehrsa Baradaran". University of Georgia Law. Retrieved 25 October 2016.
  4. ^ "Mehrsa Baradaran". University of Georgia.
  5. ^ Ashkar, Jamshid Ghazi. "Sisters teach law side by side at BYU". Deseret News. Retrieved 25 October 2016.
  6. ^ Brooks, Juanna. "The Not So Secret History Of Mormon Women's Leadership". Huffington Post. Retrieved 25 October 2016.
  7. ^ "Agency Review Teams". President-Elect Joe Biden. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  8. ^ Baradaran, Mehrsa (2017-01-27). "I Was a 'Terrorist Country' Refugee Who'd Grown Up Shouting 'Death to America.' America Trusted Me Anyway". Slate. ISSN 1091-2339. Retrieved 2017-01-30.
  9. ^ Bouie, Jamelle (2015-10-20). "Why We Should Be Talking About Russell Simmons' RushCard Fiasco". Slate. ISSN 1091-2339. Retrieved 2017-01-30.
  10. ^ "Why the poor face a higher cost of banking". PBS NewsHour. Retrieved 2017-01-30.
  11. ^ "How the Other Half Banks — Mehrsa Baradaran | Harvard University Press". Retrieved 2017-01-30.
  12. ^ Folbre, Nancy (2015-10-06). "'How the Other Half Banks,' by Mehrsa Baradaran". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-01-30.
  13. ^ Pinsker, Joe. "Bernie Sanders's Highly Sensible Plan to Turn Post Offices Into Banks". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2017-01-30.
  14. ^ McLannahan, Ben (13 November 2015). "Review: 'How the Other Half Banks', by Mehrsa Baradaran". Retrieved 2017-01-30.
  15. ^ O'Malley, JP (2016-01-30). "Book review: How The Other Half Banks". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 2017-01-30.
  16. ^ Adams, Kimberly (2 June 2016). "Consumer bureau proposes new rules for payday lenders". Marketplace. Minnesota Public Radio. Retrieved 2017-01-30.
  17. ^ "Washington Journal: Mehrsa Baradaran on Inequality in the U.S. Banking System". Retrieved 2017-01-30.
  18. ^ TEDx Talks (2016-03-30), Postal Banking: An old solution to a new problem | Mehrsa Baradaran | TEDxUGA, retrieved 2017-01-30
  19. ^ "In honor of the busiest mail day of the... - Elizabeth Warren | Facebook". Retrieved 2017-01-30.
  20. ^ Baradaran, Mehrsa (2014-02-07). "The Post Office Banks on the Poor". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-01-30.
  21. ^ Americans for Financial Reform (2015-11-09), How the Other Half Banks, retrieved 2017-01-30
  22. ^ "How the Other Half Banks". APWU. 2015-10-09. Retrieved 2017-01-30.
  23. ^ Elkins, Kathleen (2020-07-02). "Netflix commits $100 million to support Black communities—the employee who proposed the idea was inspired by this book". CNBC. Retrieved 2020-07-07.

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