Deleso Alford Bio

Professor Alford is a Shreveport, Louisiana native doing ground-breaking work bridging legal and medical education by telling stories—what she refers to as "HER stories"—the unique and particularized lived experiences of black women intersecting with health care and research. She has moved her scholarship into classrooms, benefiting both law and medical students with her racially inflected lessons.

Her forthcoming book, Tuskegee's Forgotten Women: The Untold Side of the U.S. Public Health Services Syphilis Study, sheds light on how women were directly involved in and/or impacted by the U.S. Public Health Services Syphilis Study. This book offers an acknowledgment of the importance of women's voices, and especially black women's voices, in history.

Professor Deleso Alford earned a B.S., magna cum laude at Southern University A&M College, a J.D. at Southern University Law Center, and an LL.M. at Georgetown University Law Center. She has a Certification in Clinical Bioethics from the Medical College of Wisconsin. 

Professor Alford accepted a Visiting Professorship at SULC Fall 2018 – Spring 2019.

During Summer 2019, she taught Torts for the Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO) INC. hosted by Southern University Law Center. She was approved by the SULC Board as full time Professor of Law beginning Fall 2019. She has taught the following courses: Basic Civil Procedure, Federal Jurisdiction, Law and Racism and Torts II. Prior to SULC, Professor Alford taught full-time at Barry University School of Law (2006- 2008), Florida A&M University College of Law, (2008- 2018). At FAMU COL Professor Alford taught Bioethics and the Law, Torts I and II, Race and the Law, Critical Race Theory and a course entitled, “The Cuban Legal System and Society” with a Spring Break in Cuba study abroad travel component.  Additionally, she served as an Adjunct Faculty, Associate Professor of Medicine (Medical Education) at University of Central Florida (UCF) College of Medicine (2014- 2019 and has served as the Co-Director of Director of the Longitudinal Curricular Themes (LCT) in Culture, Health, and Society (2014- 2018).

 A list of representative publications include:

  • Alford, Deleso, A Call for Medical Students to Learn the Full Story about the “Father of Gynecology” Clinical Trials and Human Subjects Research, Hastings Bioethics Forum, Health and Health Care, October 5, 2017, available at
  • Barkley, Lisa, Alford, Deleso. Medical Ethics and Health Equity: The Henrietta Lacks Story. MedEdPORTAL Publications; 2015. Available from: HeLa Cells and Unjust Enrichment in the Human Body, 21 Annals Health L. 223 (2012)
  • Examining the “Stick” of Accreditation for Medical Schools through Reproductive Justice Lens: A Transformative Remedy for Teaching the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, 26 J. Civ. Rts & Econ. Dev.153 (2011)

  • Critical Race Feminist Bioethics: Telling Stories in Law School and Medical School in Pursuit of “Cultural Competency” 72 Alb. L. Rev. 961 (2009)

  • The Anatomy of a “Pantsuit”: Performance, Proxy and Presence for Women of Color in Legal Education, 30 Hamline J. Pub. L. & and Pol’y 605 (2009)

  • Hurricane Katrina and Collective Identity: Seeing Through A “Her-storical Lens”, 31 Nova L. Rev. 325, (2007)

  • Every Shut Eye, Ain’t Sleep: Exploring the Impact of Crack Cocaine Sentencing and the Illusion of Reproductive Rights for Black Women from a Critical Race Feminist Perspective, 13 Am. U. J. Gender Soc. Pol’y & L. 1 (2004)

  • Exploring the Black Wombman’s Sphere and the Anti-Lynching Crusade of the Early Twentieth Century, 3 Geo. J. Gender & L. 895 (2002)

  • Roots, Resistance and Responsibility: The World Conference Against Racism, Reflections Magazine, Vol. 15, No. 3 (Fall 2001).

Professor Alford is the Senior Editor and author of an Encyclopedia entry entitled “Medical Experimentation and Surgery, Enslaved Women in America: An Encyclopedia”, Editor in Chief, Daina Ramey Berry (Greenwood Press/ABC-CLIO, 2012).

She is a past Fulbright Scholar in Senegal/Cote d’Ivoire; former Delegate to the World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa (2001); and past member of the American Bar Association (ABA) Special Committee on Bioethics and the Law (2015-2016). As a long-standing member of the National Bar Association (NBA) Law Professor’s Division and Planning Committee Member, she has participated during NBA International Affiliates Continuing Legal Education (CLE) meetings including Salvador da Bahia, Brazil (May 17 - 21, 2014) and Havana, Cuba (May 22 - 27, 2016). Recently, Professor Alford was appointed as NBA Assistant Secretary and Special Assistant to the NBA President for the International Affiliates Trip during Bar Year 2019-2020.