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Caruso Law Students Attend Third Annual Faith and Justice Spring Break Trip to Montgomery, Alabama

Over spring break, members of the Pepperdine Caruso School of Law community participated in the Third Annual Faith and Justice spring break trip sponsored by the Nootbaar Institute on Law, Religion and Ethics in collaboration with the Office of Diversity and Belonging. A highlight of the trip included a visit to the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, a poignant public memorial conceived by attorney Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) and author of the book Just Mercy, dedicated to honoring victims of lynching and racial violence in the US. Described as “one of the most powerful and effective new memorials created in a generation,” the National Memorial left a lasting impact on participants.

Additionally, attendees explored the Legacy Museum, an EJI-sponsored institution offering a comprehensive history of the United States with a focus on the legacy of slavery, and engaged in a private discussion with EJI senior staff attorney Tatiana Bertsch.  This year’s trip also included a visit to Selma, Alabama (and crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge on the 59th anniversary of Bloody Sunday) and a walking tour of civil rights landmarks in downtown Montgomery. 

Faith and Justice trip statue 2024

Caruso Law third-year student Carolyn Deal expressed the significance of the trip, stating, “Going on this trip will shed light on the injustices faced by so many Americans in the past and present. If you are a law student, this will provide invaluable perspective.”  First-year student Raymond Davison added,“One of the biggest affirmations of my experience was the fact that so much of this information and related truths are buried. However, there are people who care about the truth and are doing their best to shed light on the facts of history no matter how horrible they are.”  

Through group discussions and individual reflection, the trip provided participants with a transformative experience to engage with challenging questions of faith, justice, race, law, history, and ethics.  First-year student Michael Nazar shared that “It's one thing to digest the important topics of the trip, but it goes so much deeper when you have a moment to discuss what we learned and just have a space to feel after.”