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2020 Anti-Racism Steering Committee Report

In June 2020, Dean Guthrie created three task forces and a steering committee to address one central question: “What concrete actions should we take as a faculty, staff, and student body to address racial inequities and injustices that afflict the school, community, and beyond?” 

Since that time, we have convened student, faculty, and staff task forces to gather information, debate ideas, and develop proposals to build a more inclusive and anti-racist community at Vanderbilt. We have implemented a VLS-wide anonymous survey and analyzed the responses. Based on these processes, each task force has submitted its own report and recommendations to the Dean. Finally, as the Dean has asked of us, we—the steering committee—have prepared this report to be shared with the entire VLS community. In it, we synthesize points of commonality and outline what we believe to be the essential components of the path forward.

Download the full report.

To:        Chris Guthrie, Dean and John Wade-Kent Syverud Professor of Law
From:    The Vanderbilt Law School Racial Inequities & Injustices Steering Committee
Re:        Report to the Dean and Vanderbilt Law School Community
Date:     August 7, 2020



Our Process

Highlights of the Survey

Diverse VLS Community

  • Faculty recruitment and retention
  • Staff recruiting and retention
  • Student recruiting and retention

Belonging at VLS

  • Learning opportunities to enhance equity, diversity, and inclusion within VLS
  • Connection with mentors and peers
  • Awards and compensation
  • Honoring persons of color
  • Building diverse career awareness and pathways

Diverse Learning at VLS

  • Creation of new curricular offerings
  • Integration of race into existing curricular offerings
  • Strengthening and championing existing structures that promote diverse learning
  • Structural investments in diverse learning, teaching, and scholarship
  • Journal diversity

VLS as Citizen

  • Community engagement and service
  • Leveraging our market power

VLS Commitment

  • New administrator to lead diversity efforts
  • Building on this learning moment
  • Declaration of VLS community values