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PIRC's Commitment to Racial Justice


 

The Public Interest Resource Center’s (PIRC) Commitment to Racial Justice

 

We in the Public Interest Resource Center (PIRC) firmly commit to both continuing and expanding our efforts in the fight for racial justice. We stand in solidarity with students, faculty, and administrators of color. We must make Fordham a more diverse and inclusive place that actively recruits and supports students of color, while working to dismantle white supremacy.

 

We provide support for our 22 PIRC Student Groups. It is important to us that these groups be student-led and largely autonomous, while providing support to them. We greatly appreciate and respect our strong public interest student leaders and strive to follow their lead. When it comes to the fight for racial justice, we both aim to listen to and follow the leadership from our students of color while not placing an undue burden on them. 

 

Our focus is on public interest law and engaging students and alumni in this work. It is impossible to talk about public interest law, in any form, without touching upon racial injustice. We commit to remaining focused on, and fighting against, racial injustice in every legal institution and system in this society, as well within the public interest legal community. 

 

We specifically commit to:

 

In our public interest work

  • Include race and racism as critical topics in every public interest/social justice conversation/program.

  • In all opportunities to hire additional PIRC staff, actively recruit candidates of color. 

  • Speak out in the presence of microaggressions and all forms of explicit and implicit forms of racial bias and discrimination.

  • Acknowledge our individual privileges including racially, economically, socio-economically.

  • Continue to reflect, grow and learn how to do better; attend anti-racist trainings and programming.

  • Continually emphasize to our students how important cultural competency and anti-bias understanding is to public interest legal work, particularly in working with communities of color. Encourage students to attend trainings and read scholarship in order to develop cultural competency and to work on eliminating bias. Offer students resources internal to Fordham Law School (see below). 

  • Work to ensure people of color are represented in all programming.

  • Commit to making PIRC an anti-racist safe space for all students and particularly for students of color—a place where students can come, be heard, be supported and be embraced.

 

In our supporting efforts of students of color, student leaders, faculty and administrators of color

  • Continue to support demands, grievances, and initiatives (some of which are listed below) of the Coalition of Concerned Students (CCS), the Black Law Students Association (BLSA), Asian Pacific American Law Student Association (APALSA), and use our positions to make sure they are heard and appreciated; make sure students of color are financially compensated and appreciated for their contributions, consultations, insights and work; ensure that students are heard and continue to amplify their voices. 

  • Recruit and hire more faculty of color and administrators of color.

  • Recruit more students of color, particularly Black students, to attend FLS; increase the diversity at FLS by tremendous numbers; ensure that once students of color are here that they feel supported and embraced; support initiatives to achieve this including pipeline programs and outreach.

  • Include Critical Race Theory throughout the law school curriculum, particularly for 1L students.

  • Initiate and sustain regular mandatory antiracism trainings for students, faculty, and administrators; trainings that have the support of BIPOC. Participate in these trainings.

  • Increase resources allocated to student groups dedicated to advancing racial justice.