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Pepperdine Caruso Law Celebrates Diversity Week 2022

students, faculty and staff dressed in cultural clothing for diversity week

Pepperdine Caruso School of Law held its fifth annual Diversity Week that featured a series of events to celebrate diversity, equity, and inclusion with representatives from across the Caruso Law community. Hosted by the Office of Diversity and Belonging, the Diversity Week events were well-attended by joyful and engaged participants on October 10-15, 2022.

Chalak Richards, dean of Students, Diversity, and Belonging comments, "Diversity Week offers opportunities to engage with the rich cultural, ideological, and religious experiences in our community. Whether through Global Village Day or the Interfaith Religious Panel, the goal is that our community is meaningfully contemplating the true impact of diversity in our school and profession, and celebrating that the things that make us unique are also what can unite us."

On Monday, October 10, the annual celebration began with a full day of activities for Caruso Law students, alumni, and community partners. The day began with the annoucement a new accelerated degree agreement (3+3) with Tuskegee University, one of the 104 accredited Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the United States. Caruso Law hosted an official signing ceremony, followed by a conversation between Pepperdine provost Jay Brewster and Tuskegee assistant provost Dr. Faye Hall Jackson.

Pepperdine and Tuskegee signing group

Tuskegee and Pepperdine signing the contract

In the afternoon, Caruso Law alumni convened for a roundtable discussion on diversity and inclusiveness in the law community.

In the evening, the university community was invited to a screening of the film “A Crime on the Bayou.” The documentary told the story of how a Black teenager challenged the systemic racism of Louisiana and took his fight for justice all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. After the screening there was a question and answer session with Lolis Elie, a son of a lawyer involved in the events in the film. The screening was presented with the support of the Graziadio Business School Diversity Council and Student Engagement and Success, the Graduate School of Education and Psychology, the School of Public Policy, and the Seaver College Office of Intercultural Affairs.

Iranian law student association

the south student and faculty table

India student association

NLSA student organization

On Tuesday, October 11, the beloved community tradition, Global Village Day, was held in the Caruso Law atrium. A popular showcase of numerous national, ethnic, and regional cultures through the sharing of traditional foods, and the display of garments, books, music, photographs, and information. A community of faculty, staff, and students shared festive displays of their cultural or regional heritages.
The week's events continued on Wednesday, October 12, with an Open Conversation that encourages nuanced dialogue around critically important social topics. The conversation was moderated by Professor Ahmed Taha.

Interfaith Panel

Thursday, October 13, an Interfaith Religous Panel, moderated by Richards, featured faculty members of diverse faith backgrounds. The panel consisting of professors Ahmed Taha, Christine Chambers Goodman, Sarah Nissel, Sukhsimranjit Singh, and Tom Stipanowich discussed how their faiths of Islam, Christianity, Judiasm, and Sikhism inform the ways in which they approach the law and life. The panel encouraged a deeper understanding of religious diversity in the law community.

Diversity Week concluded on Saturday, October 15 with the annual For People of Color Law School Admissions Conference. The conference provided attendees with a comprehensive overview of the law school application process. Current law students, faculty, and attorneys shared their pathways to law school and answered participant questions.

Caruso Law is proud to continue its annual Diversity Week tradition that stands to deepen the strength of our entire community. For additional information about Diversity Week, please visit the Diversity and Belonging website at Pepperdine Caruso Law Diversity and Belonging.