It has been an honor and a pleasure to work alongside my fellow council members. As the current Delegate of Diversity and Inclusion, I have embarked on several projects.
I participated in drafting the latest resolution, which aims to attract more diverse law students by moving the elections earlier to the spring instead of the summer.
I also chair the Diversity Committee. The law students I selected for the Committee are from all walks of life, and I am really thankful to work with them on a couple of projects that will be handed off to the next Diversity Committee.
I am really excited in particular about three projects.
First, we have just launched our new ABA Connect discussion board in which our Diversity Committee members will be posting biweekly topics of interest to diverse law students. It is titled Vox Populi: Diverse Law Student Sounding Board. The Diversity Committee and I hope that this will become an active discussion board where students can have honest conversations of issues surrounding their campus/student life and be a platform to share resources.
Second, alongside the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, I am hoping to raise awareness of the need for cultural competency training for faculty at law schools through a project in the works!
Third, financial literacy is so crucial for legal education. Through an interactive toolkit, the hope is that it will track in a timeline format what law students should be thinking about from 1L to post graduation.
Finally, I want to just briefly mention that the Diversity Committee is also working on resource building like creating a compilation of affinity conferences and adding ideas on how to get funding to attend these important conferences.
It has been an amazing start and I am grateful to the council’s support and for the hard work of the Diversity Committee. With the council, I am also helping our Chair with raising awareness of mental health issues in law schools. We had a successful mental health week campaign this past fall. We hope law schools will be willing to invest more on mental health on campus.
Apart from project management, I have been so grateful to attend important meetings such as the Section Officers Conference this past September. I had the honor of listening to the President of the ABA, Bob Carlson, speak about what justice means. I also witnessed firsthand the strong interest of attracting law students like you and I to become ABA members. I learned so much about the work the ABA those and the influence it has. I hope more law students will join the ABA and leverage their membership to create change and build solid legal careers.
Lastly, I am extremely excited about the launch of the application for new council members! Part of a leader’s job is to usher a new leader into their seat and be a resource. I am looking forward to welcoming a new Delegate of Diversity and Inclusion this spring. I know the nominating committee will pick excellent candidates this year.
And before I end this post, I just want to shout out our amazing Diversity Committee!
Diversity Committee 2018-2019
Ashley Baker, Current Delegate of Communications, Southern University Law Center
Daniel Cortes, SBA President, Florida International University College of Law
Rasheada Rodgers, ABA Representative, Howard University School of Law
Bacilio Mendez II, ABA Representative, Golden Gate University School of Law
Clarissa Sarmiento, ABA Representative, University of Pittsburgh School of Law
Andy Laine, ABA Representative, City University of New York School of Law
Mikal Roberson, ABA Representative, Marquette University Law School