Equity, Diversity and Community

Dean Chris Guthrie joins with deans of more than 40 U.S. law schools in support of AG Garland’s call to the legal community

Sep. 1, 2021—Law deans express a commitment to ensuring that families and individuals facing eviction have access to legal representation, counseling and assistance.

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Alumni Equity, Diversity and Community Faculty News General News Home Page News Legal Clinic News Public Interest News


Ramon Ryan ’21 named to 2021 Law Program of the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics

Aug. 24, 2021—Ryan is one of 16 FASPE Ethics Fellows chosen for the program, which examines the conduct of lawyers in Nazi-occupied Europe as a way to reflect on legal ethics today.

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Alumni Equity, Diversity and Community General News


Youth Opportunity Clinic partners with Youth Law Center to promote pandemic relief program for former foster youth

Aug. 5, 2021—Youth ages 18 to 26 who were in foster care after age 14 are eligible for pandemic relief funds. Vanderbilt’s Youth Opportunity Clinic and the Youth Law Center are sharing information with other lawyers and service providers. The Clinic can help young adults who have aged out of foster care apply for up to $1,200 before the extended application deadline of September 15, 2021.

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Alumni Equity, Diversity and Community General News Public Interest News


Celebrating Juneteenth, a message from Diversity, Equity and Community Dean Yesha Yadav

Jun. 18, 2021—As we gather to celebrate Juneteenth with our friends and families, we are humbled by the sacredness of this day and its profound significance for the history of our country. With the despicable inhumanity and evil of slavery ending, Black Americans began the slow and painful journey towards the fullest and most equal attainment of...

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Equity, Diversity and Community General News Home Page News


Faculty share importance of Juneteenth; events to be hosted throughout week

Jun. 14, 2021—Leading up to Vanderbilt’s annual observance of Juneteenth, Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion André L. Churchwell hosted a discussion with two faculty members about this important date in history.

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Equity, Diversity and Community


LAVA president Jay Larry ’17 (BA’14) aims to strengthen ties among Vanderbilt’s LGBTQIA+ alumni

Jun. 14, 2021—“I would not be the person I am today without Vanderbilt,” he adds. “Many formative experiences happened there that made me a better team player, better global citizen and more thoughtful about others and how I navigate the world.”

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Alumni Equity, Diversity and Community General News Home Page News


Research by economist Joni Hersch finds that Supreme Court ban on race-conscious college admissions would restrict pipeline of future leaders

Jun. 10, 2021—Hersch is the Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Law and Economics and co-director of the Law and Economics Program. She analyzed data on almost 500,000 college graduates to show a close connection between attending an elite undergradaute institution and the likelihood of earning a graduate or professional degree. Her research will soon be published in the Tulane Law Review.

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Equity, Diversity and Community Faculty News General News


Samantha Furman ’21 – Reflection: The Criminal Practice Clinic and Police Brutality

May. 24, 2021—From an early age, I have had mixed feelings about law enforcement. The fact is many police officers perform their jobs with dignity and pure intentions. I have always understood what police officers were supposed to represent: protection, dependability, and service to the community. However, from my vantage point, law enforcement rarely lived up to those promises...

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Equity, Diversity and Community Legal Clinic News


Transactional Lawyering for Black Lives

May. 24, 2021—During the fall 2020 semester, the Turner Family Community Enterprise Clinic collaborated with Law for Black Lives to explore ways of increasing Black land ownership and community wealth. Law for Black Lives is a network of legal advocates for Black Lives Matter and related social movements. Each semester the organization connects a cohort of law school clinics with community organizations to...

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Equity, Diversity and Community Legal Clinic News


Funmi Akinnawonu ’20 is the 2020 George Barrett Social Justice Fellow in the Jackson office of Mississippi Center for Justice

May. 24, 2021—Funmi Akinnawonu entered law school hoping to pursue a public interest career. Her experiences at Vanderbilt solidified her interest, particularly her experience in the law school’s Immigration Practice Clinic. “A clinic experience is helpful for everyone. Clinic work can be draining but it’s rewarding to actually know that the work that you’re doing is going to really help someone,” she said. In addition to...

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Equity, Diversity and Community Legal Clinic News


Jackson Hill ’22 – Race and Future Dangerousness in the Texas Death Penalty

May. 24, 2021—This semester I externed working on post-conviction relief in death penalty cases with the Office of Capital and Forensic Writs in Austin, Texas. This experience caused me to reflect on the concept and application of the “future dangerousness” doctrine in capital cases.   The United States death penalty system has always been racist, and this is especially apparent in the system’s...

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Equity, Diversity and Community Legal Clinic News


Housing Evictions During COVID-19

May. 24, 2021—In 2017, the Metro Government of Nashville and Davidson County found that nearly half of Nashville-area renters spent at least 30 percent of their monthly income on housing, and nearly a quarter of renters spent more than 50 percent of their income on housing. This gap between housing costs and renters’ ability to pay them has widened during the COVID-19 pandemic, both in...

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Equity, Diversity and Community Legal Clinic News


A Sense of Belonging at Vanderbilt

May. 19, 2021—The endowment of a permanent director of the Diversity, Equity and Community Office in honor of the late Professor Robert Belton enables VLS to build on its long-term commitment to diversity, inclusion and racial justice.

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Alumni Equity, Diversity and Community Faculty News General News


Reaction to today’s verdict, a message from Dean Chris Guthrie

Apr. 20, 2021—With today’s news that the jury voted to convict Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd, it is important to acknowledge that the trauma of this case, like so many others, remains with us. We have had to relive this violent encounter through the horrific video that many of us have seen with our...

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Alumni Equity, Diversity and Community Faculty News General News Public Interest News


Rhonda Y. Williams to deliver next Dean’s Lecture on Race and Discrimination March 31

Mar. 26, 2021—Williams is the John L. Seigenthaler Professor of American History. Her work focuses on the experiences of low-income Black women and marginalized people, including their everyday lives, politics and social struggles. Her talk will be delivered virtually and is free and open to the public. The Dean's Lecture Series on Race and Discrimination convenes scholars and thought leaders to provide the Vanderbilt community with foundational knowledge on race, civil rights, discrimination on the basis of gender and sexual orientation, and critical historical milestones.

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Alumni Equity, Diversity and Community General News


Vanderbilt convenes scholars, activists across generations to examine Nashville’s role in fight for racial justice

Mar. 6, 2021—The daylong virtual symposium, “Racial Justice, Freedom and Activism in Nashville and Beyond: Then and Now,” will be on Friday, March 26, starting at 9 a.m. CT.

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Equity, Diversity and Community


Brandon R. Byrd to deliver Dean’s Lecture on Race and Discrimination March 18

Mar. 4, 2021—Byrd is an assistant professor of history at Vanderbilt University. HIs research focuses on black intellectual and social history. He is the author of The Black Republic: African Americans and the Fate of Haiti, a book published in 2019 by the University of Pennsylvania Press.

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Alumni Equity, Diversity and Community General News


Director of Diversity, Equity and Community to be endowed in honor of Robert Belton

Feb. 25, 2021—Belton was a pioneering scholar of labor and employment law and the law school’s first tenured African American professor. The position of Robert Belton Director of Diversity, Equity and Community will be endowed by an anonymous donor this year

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Alumni Equity, Diversity and Community General News Home Page News


‘This Moment in America’ panel Feb. 24: Insights for equity and inclusion in turbulent times

Feb. 11, 2021—The Vanderbilt Office for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion will host a panel of Vanderbilt faculty, staff and students to share their personal and professional views and experiences on issues that inform “This Moment in America.” The virtual panel discussion is scheduled for 1 p.m. and is open to the Vanderbilt community. Opening remarks by Chancellor Diermeier and moderated by Vice Chancellor Andre L. Churchwell.

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Equity, Diversity and Community


First of its kind, the National Museum of African American Music opens in Nashville

Feb. 8, 2021—Opened in January 2021, NMAAM is the only museum dedicated to preserving and celebrating the many music genres created, influenced, and inspired by African Americans. The museum’s expertly-curated collections share the story of the American soundtrack by integrating history and interactive technology to bring the musical heroes of the past into the present.

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Equity, Diversity and Community


Vanderbilt to celebrate Black History Month with events throughout February

Feb. 1, 2021—Vanderbilt University’s annual celebration of Black History Month—a time to acknowledge and appreciate the history, experience and accomplishments of Black people on the Vanderbilt campus, across the country and globally—will kick off on Monday, Feb. 1, with a virtual program coordinated by the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center. Other events in the monthlong series will include presentations, panel discussions, play readings, yoga sessions and more, most to be held virtually.

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Equity, Diversity and Community


Register for upcoming ‘Disrupting Everyday Bias’ workshops

Jan. 15, 2021—In order to mitigate the negative impact of bias, participants are introduced to tools and strategies to disrupt everyday bias and create situations to make decisions in a more conscious manner. This workshop supports the university’s ongoing efforts to address unconscious bias, and all staff are invited to participate in one of these sessions.

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Equity, Diversity and Community


EDI, HR launch guidelines for Employee Affinity Groups

Dec. 7, 2020—Employee Affinity Groups, or EAGs, are created and facilitated by employees around interests, backgrounds, identities and common bonds to help foster a positive work environment at Vanderbilt and support the university’s values specific to diversity, inclusion and campus engagement.

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Equity, Diversity and Community


Deans’ Diversity Designates to serve as liaisons to Provost’s Office for Inclusive Excellence

Dec. 4, 2020—These Deans’ Diversity Designates will serve as advocates for inclusive excellence as well as equity-, diversity- and inclusion-related initiatives at their respective schools and in their specific areas across the Vanderbilt campus. Professor Yesha Yadav serves as the law school's inaugural associate dean for equity, diversity and community.

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Equity, Diversity and Community


Gender Affirmation Toolkit supports inclusivity for Vanderbilt employees

Dec. 3, 2020—The toolkit features a set of guidelines that serve as resources for employees who identify as transgender, genderqueer or non-binary, as well as the managers who support them, to navigate workplace biases or discrimination and ultimately build a more inclusive and welcoming work environment.

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Equity, Diversity and Community