Making Fordham Law Welcoming and Inclusive
Too many students of color do not feel embraced and supported by Fordham Law and instead feel isolated and marginalized. We are renewing and deepening our commitment to ensuring that students of color are welcomed into our community and are fully supported. In addition to delivering on the promises outlined below, we will continue to explore and implement additional means of moving Fordham Law beyond the structural racism that has impacted the experiences of students of color as well as of staff and faculty.
Action Items and Status
Create Anti-Racism Book Groups
Launched book groups for faculty and staff to explore themes around discrimination, structural racism, and implicit bias.
Expand Diversity Training for Adjunct Faculty
Expanded training of adjunct faculty to include issues of anti-racism, unconscious bias awareness, and cultural competence in order to create a culture of inclusion in the classroom. Past programs have not been mandatory, and they now will be. To date, over 140 adjunct faculty have undergone training sessions, and these will continue.
Institute Blind Grading
In order to eliminate the potential for implicit bias, first-year legal writing will now be blind graded after the initial assignment. This conforms with the approach we take with other first-year courses.
Commission a "Climate Study"
Prepare an analysis of how issues of racism in all its forms are woven into our institution and make recommendations. A special committee on Race and the Law School Climate is charged with leading this process.
Strengthen Anti-Racism Programming
Strengthen the program on diversity, equity, and inclusion launched in January 2019 for all first-year students and focused on anti-racism. Additionally, we have added a new racial equity inclusion program to the fall 1L semester House experiences.
Expand Diversity Training for Full-Time Faculty
Expand training on diversity, equity, and inclusion for all full-time faculty. The Law School will be working with the Diversity and Inclusion Committee on the program.
Launch a Dean’s Student Advisory Council on Diversity
Establish a Dean’s Student Advisory Council on Diversity to provide a continuing process to identify concerns and implement change. Student members will meet regularly starting in fall 2020 with the Dean to discuss diversity-related issues.
Create Dialogue Days
Launch a series of Fordham Dialogue Days—programs that challenge all members of Fordham Law to engage in open discussion together in small groups on social justice issues.
Create a Strategic Plan for Diversity
Develop a strategic plan on race and other aspects of diversity based on the findings of the Climate Study.
Launch Mandatory Diversity Training for Staff in Late Fall 2020
Provide opportunity for all staff to participate in diversity, equity, and inclusion education to ensure greater sensitivity to the needs and perspectives of students of color, as well as opportunities for staff to participate in discussions surrounding anti-racism and issues relating to social justice.
Weave Issues of Race, Ethnicity, Gender, and Identity into the Curriculum Design
Provide faculty with the resources, encouragement, and support to ensure that DEI issues, especially those pertaining to race and gender, can be explored in courses within the core curriculum, and encourage and support them in doing so. Provide opportunities for students to pursue studies in critical race theory within the law school curriculum.