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Friday, February 10, 2023
Symposium co-sponsored by USC Gould and LSAC RISE Alliance highlights coalition building to encourage diversity within legal profession
By Leslie Ridgeway
|Gould Associate Dean Nickey Woods (Photo by Andrew Svistunov)|
The symposium came together after a discussion with Woods and Jay Austin, executive director of the RISE (Reaffirming Individuals Supporting Education) Alliance, a national center within LSAC. The symposium provided a broader perspective on diversity efforts within the legal profession and shed light on creative thinking about solutions, Woods said.
|From right: USC Gould Dean Andrew Guzman, PSU Dickinson Dean Danielle Conway, and Jay Austin, executive director, RISE Alliance|
Following a fireside chat with USC Gould Dean Andrew Guzman, Austin and Dean Danielle Conway of the Pennsylvania State University’s Dickinson Law School, TaWanda Hunter Stallworth, program manager of Dickinson Law’s Antiracist Development Institute led “Building an Antiracist Law School, Legal Academy, and Legal Profession: An Iterative Approach,” a session focused on the ADI’s collaborative efforts and development of a book series that examines how racism is embedded throughout the legal academy. Woods is author of a chapter in the second volume of the series on innovative pipeline programming and USC Gould’s partnership with USC Athletics, she said.
|TaWanda Hunter Stallworth, Penn State Dickinson Law|
While all the presentations were impactful, Woods was very impressed with the student panel, which shared discomforting incidents of “othering,” underrepresentation and not being acknowledged by correct pronouns.
“They spoke with conviction about their experiences, and also spoke to how we can be better in meeting their needs. I felt inspired after that panel,” Woods said. “We can assume to know what students need and want based on our own experiences or what we think is best, but at the end of the day, they know better than any of us because they are in the moment, right now.”
|USC Gould Assistant Dean Akita Mungaray|
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