Engaged Philosophy and Justice: Taylor Mills’ Contributions to Law, Advocacy, and Community Engagement

Taylor Mills, a graduate student in Philosophy and RA for the Research Institute for Structural Change (RISC), was honored with the 2024 MSU Outreach and Engagement Award for Community-Engaged Teaching and Learning 2024. Taylor’s philosophical research specialization is Engaged Philosophy of Law and Policy, an area that interrogates the relationships between law and philosophy from a community-oriented, interdisciplinary, systems approach to structural justice. Drawing inspiration from decolonial theory, Indigenous philosophy, legal theory, intersectional women of color feminisms, social and political epistemology, critical theory, and philosophy of technology, Taylor’s work seeks to bring about meaningful change.

In addition to this prestigious award, Taylor achieved several significant milestones during the 2023-2024 academic year. She was selected for MSU’s Urban Community Engagement Fellows Program (UCEF), a joint initiative of Michigan State University’s Graduate School and the Office of University Outreach and Engagement. UCEF pairs a diverse team of MSU graduate students with Lansing-area community partners to envision and complete community-identified projects that make a substantive difference in revitalizing the city.

Taylor also accomplished the remarkable feat of passing the Michigan Bar Exam to become a licensed attorney. Her dedication to law studies was further recognized when she received the Woman Lawyers of Michigan Foundation Award for Outstanding Female Law Student. This award, presented by a foundation committed to supporting exceptional women law students across Michigan, underscores Taylor’s commitment to excellence in her field.

Furthermore, Taylor was awarded the prestigious American Bar Association’s LGBT Public Interest Scholarship. Her scholarship and professional work are social justice-oriented, with a particular passion for addressing sexual and gender-based violence against queer, BIPOC communities and developing better policies to support survivors while preventing future violence.

Our department is proud of all of Taylor’s hard work, and we are thrilled that she is getting the attention she deserves!