February 2024 Spotlight: Deborah E. Jasmin
The words of Desmond Tutu inspire Deborah Jasmin in her daily work and her hope for a future that highlights our interconnectedness: "We are different precisely in order to realize our need of one another. My humanity is caught up, is inextricably bound up in yours."
Deborah serves as the associate director of professional development and alumni outreach at the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution. While she is relatively new to this role, her presence within the Pepperdine community spans more than 30 years, when she began her career as a student worker in the late 1990s. She is a graduate of Seaver College and has worked in both the Straus Institute and Graduate Law Programs in various positions including administrative assistant and class support manager. Her curiosity and passion to connect with others remained a constant theme in each of her positions at the law school. “Throughout my tenure at the Straus Institute, I am intensely grateful and have most enjoyed the privilege of engaging with individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds and faith traditions. These interactions have broadened my perspective and deepened my understanding of the world.”
Deborah’s commitment to celebrating cultural diversity is strongly influenced by her own experience. Deborah says, “As a black woman, my feelings towards Black History Month are complex. The designation of a specific month to celebrate Black history is both a testament to the resilience of the Black community and a reminder of the systemic inequalities and injustices that persist in our society. It serves as a temporary spotlight on the rich tapestry of Black culture, accomplishments, and contributions. But also underscores the need for sustained efforts towards inclusivity, representation, and equity in our society year-round.”
Deborah’s commitment to Pepperdine’s mission is inspired by her mother Carol Shadrick, who dedicated 37 years of her life to the law school. Deborah comments, “Countless Pepperdine employees recall her professionalism, intellect, and compassion, and I am deeply proud to witness her legacy and strive to have a similar impact at Caruso Law. In my journey for a legacy related to my personal life, I am inspired by the diverse individuals I've encountered worldwide. The concept of humanity resonates profoundly with me, and I strive to instill this view in my children, who represent my most cherished legacy.”
Deborah is encouraged that we continue to take steps towards a future where all people are celebrated, believing that “we can together work towards a future where the celebration of Black history is not confined to a single month but integrated into our everyday awareness, so that we can “embrace our shared humanity and foster meaningful connections in our collective journey toward a more inclusive and compassionate world.”