Equity, Diversity and Community

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 Home Page News Public Interest 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


Ellis named director of Provost’s Office for Inclusive Excellence

Oct. 31, 2020—Ellis’ hiring reflects Vanderbilt’s deepened commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion by increasing critical staffing for key areas across the university.

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Equity, Diversity and Community


Law students raise awareness on COVID-related discrimination by working to pass Nashville city resolution

Oct. 22, 2020—Amid stay-at-home orders and uncertainty over the availability of summer jobs, Cloe Anderson ’21, Grace Ko ’21 and Sarah Dvorak ’22 turned their concern into action. Working fully remotely with Professor Karla McKanders in the Immigration Practice Clinic, the students helped to pass Metro Council resolution RS 2020-433, which supports communities disproportionately affected by COVID-19....

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Equity, Diversity and Community Legal Clinic News


Providing advice and counsel to Tennessee’s essential workers during COVID-19

Oct. 22, 2020—In the summer of 2020, Assistant Dean for Public Interest Spring Miller launched a workers’ rights initiative in conjunction with the Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services in response to the access to justice crisis for vulnerable Tennessee workers precipitated by the pandemic. This fall, six students are enrolled in the Worker Advocacy Practicum that grew...

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Equity, Diversity and Community Legal Clinic News


New Housing Law Clinic to target pandemic eviction crisis

Oct. 22, 2020—Jennifer Pruzak previously supervised the Tenant Assistance Project at the University of Indiana Maurer School of Law, where she also directed the Nonprofit Legal Clinic.

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Equity, Diversity and Community Legal Clinic News


Worker Advocacy Practicum addresses “access to justice crisis” affecting low-wage workers

Oct. 15, 2020—Assistant Dean for Public Interest Spring Miller launches a new practicum through which students advocate for the employment rights of low-wage workers.

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Alumni Equity, Diversity and Community General News Public Interest News


Jake Epstein and Evan Kowalski are VLS Bass Military Scholars for the Class of 2023

Sep. 18, 2020—Epstein, a former Army Ranger non-commissioned officer, and Kowalski, a former Army logistics officer, are among nine Bass Military Scholars in the 2020 cohort who received scholarships to the Law School, the School of Nursing and Owen Graduate School of Management. The program supports military veterans pursuing graduate and professional degrees across several Vanderbilt schools.

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Alumni Equity, Diversity and Community


Vanderbilt Law Review members make collective gift to support minority students with ABA diversity scholarship

Sep. 17, 2020—All members of the VLR staff donated the fees they would customarily use to pay for meeting space and supplies to the ABA's Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund, which provides $15,000 scholarships to up to 20 diverse law students each year.

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


Dean Chris Guthrie and Vice Provost Tracey George establish need-based scholarship in honor of Vanderbilt’s first African-American law graduates

Sep. 8, 2020—The Harris, Porter & Work Scholarship will recognize Janie Greenwood Harris (LLB'64), Edward Melvin Porter (LLB'59) and Frederick Taylor Work, Sr. (LLB'59), and support students with a demonstrated commitment to civil rights.

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Alumni Equity, Diversity and Community


VLS Steering Committee on Racial Inequities and Injustices issues report

Sep. 4, 2020—The report reflects the results of a community-wide survey and input from three anti-racism task forces representing VLS students, faculty and staff. It recommends short- and long-term actions designed to address racial inequities and injustices in the VLS community and beyond.

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


Claudia Bonnyman ’74: How my great-grandmother’s bravery helped secure a woman’s right to vote

Aug. 21, 2020—Read an essay adapted from a speech Chancellor Bonnyman delivered at an event commemorating the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment granting women suffrage. Bonnyman served for 15 years as a chancellor for the Davidson County Chancery Court. Before her appointment to the bench in 2003, she served as the chancery court clerk and master starting in 1989. She became the founding president of the Lawyers Association for Women in 1981.

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Alumni Equity, Diversity and Community General News


Yesha Yadav named associate dean for diversity, equity and community

Aug. 18, 2020—As the inaugural appointee, Yadav will work with Dean Chris Guthrie and law faculty, students, and staff to support diversity, equity and inclusion at VLS.

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Equity, Diversity and Community Faculty News General News Home Page News



Blumstein and Yadav appointed to Tennessee Advisory Committee of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights

Jul. 14, 2020—James F. Blumstein, a noted expert in constitutional law and health law and policy, and finincial regulatory expert Yesha Yadav will serve four-year terms on the Tennessee Advisory Committee to the US. Commission on Civil Rights.

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


Immigration Practice Clinic students work pro bono to support communities disproportionately affected by COVID-19

Jul. 8, 2020—Cloe Anderson ’21, Grace Ko ’21 and Sarah Dvorak ’22 help draft resolution passed by the Nashville Metropolitan Council drawing attention to increased harassment and discrimination directed at Asian immigrants during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Alumni Equity, Diversity and Community General News Public Interest News