Diversity Week Highlights the Benefits of Inclusivity

Student Bar Association and Diversity Outreach office celebrate Diversity Week.
Student Bar Association and Diversity Outreach office celebrate Diversity Week.

This past March John Marshall hosted Diversity Week, a collaborative effort of the Office of Diversity Affairs and the Stu- dent Bar Association. From March 7th to the 9th a variety of exciting and enlightening panel discussions and film showings took place.

On the 7th, Michelle Silverthorn, Director of Diversity & Education with the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism gave a presentation on the value of inclusive leadership to students and faculty, stressing the importance of diversity in the practice of law in order to meet the needs of a naturally diverse client base in 2016. On the 8th, a panel of Affinity Bar Associations spoke to students about the value that memberships with these organizations can have for them professionally. The 9th was dedicated to résumé writing and branding sessions and ended in a networking reception.

Each night a different set of films were screened by affiliated student organizations to highlight and promote diversity and understanding within the student body. Film selections included: A Raisin in the Sun hosted by Black Law Student Association, Dance-hall Queen hosted by the Caribbean-American Students Association, and My Cousin Vinny hosted by the Justinian Society, to name a few.

The program culminated with a luncheon on March 20 with Valerie Jensen, Executive Director of the Twin Cities Diversity in Practice, where students received additional advice on marketing themselves and strategies for professional development. The Culinary Diversity: Tastes from Around the World capped off the evening with delectable culinary selections prepared by students representing favorite dishes from their ethnic or national identities.

John Marshall is fortunate to have a diverse student body and events like Diversity Week help highlight how the school’s commitment to inclusion not only enrich the lives of students but the legal profession as a whole. The enthusiasm and logistical efforts of students working in partnership with faculty to coordinate this series of events is worthy of praise and recognition and we at the Decisive Utterance are hopeful that this project will continue for many years to come.

Special thanks should to Troy Riddle of Director of Diversity, Tiffany Alberty of the Office of Diversity Affairs, and Daniel Hernandez and the rest of the Student Bar Association for making Diversity week possible and for helping John Marshall maintain its commitment to inclusion and opportunity for all.

By DU Staff

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