The Advocate

Committing to Anti-Racism

Under the leadership of Acting Dean Robert Dinerstein and Assistant Dean of Diversity, Inclusion, and Affinity Relations Lisa Taylor, American University Washington College of Law is undertaking the following steps to intentionally address issues related to justice, equity, and racism.

  1. Implicit Bias Trailing The Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Affinity Relations (DIA) is sponsoring implicit bias training for the AUWCL community. This fall, all incoming 1Ls participated in this training as part of their mandatory orientation and Compass programming. The DIA is also working with student groups, staff, and faculty to arrange sustained implicit bias training for the AUWCL community.
  2. Anti-racism in the Curriculum The DIA and the Office of Advising and Policy Development are working to assess teaching about race, economic inequality, and other issues related to diversity, inclusion, equity, and justice in our rich curriculum.
  3. Dean’s Council on Diversity, Inclusion, Equity, and Justice (CDIEJ) AUWCL launched a new student council this fall to focus on matters of diversity, inclusion, equity, and justice. Dean Dinerstein, in collaboration with the Student Bar Association, invited representatives from the law school’s affinity and interest-based organizations, the SBA, and other elected and appointed students to participate.
  4. Faculty Diversity Committee Initiative In June, AUWCL’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, chaired by Professor Ezra Rosser, began a series of conversations and workshops with the faculty on race and equity in the curriculum. These workshops focused on ideas about how faculty can integrate issues of equity and justice in the classroom.
  5. Bias Reporting System The Office of the Dean has created a Bias Reporting Task Force comprising students, staff, and faculty to evaluate and make recommendations to improve AUWCL’s bias reporting system. The task force is committed to improving the bias reporting process so that it is transparent, inclusive, and responsive to the concerns of AUWCL students, staff, and faculty.
  6. Anti-racist Audit Consistent with the recommendations of the Law Deans Antiracist Clearinghouse Project, AUWCL is conducting an audit whose scope includes understanding the demographics of our faculty and student body; our standards for hiring, promotion, and tenure of faculty; our institutional climate; and student access to law school activities and programs. The law school will conduct an iterative process designed to make sure that we are putting into practice the antiracist values that animate us.
  7. Anti-racism Action Steps Dean Dinerstein will be a signatory of the Anti-Racism Action Steps in the University’s Division of Academic Affairs, which will soon be finalized and adopted.
  8. Staff Allies In May, staff and faculty members launched Staff Allies for Racial Justice @ WCL, which supports staff members in their ongoing efforts to recognize and address bias and racism, promote justice, and become anti-racist.