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SLU LAW and American University Release Report on DEI Professionals

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Jessica L. Ciccone
Director of Communications, Saint Louis University School of Law
jessica.ciccone@slu.edu
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After a year of surveying colleagues across the country, Saint Louis University School of Law’s Assistant Dean Belinda Dantley and her colleague at American University Washington College of Law, Lisa Taylor, released a report on the role of diversity, equity and inclusion professionals within law school administration.

While diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) positions are not new to legal education, the survey found that they are becoming more common, particularly in decanal and chief diversity officer roles. Dantley and Taylor’s work focused on finding out more about positions across institutions and, more importantly, their perspective on their work and professional lives.

The research comes as the country is faced with a renewed focus on racial justice amidst a global pandemic. Many law schools have publicly demonstrated solidary with students who face systematic racism and strengthened their commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice at their institutions. Very often, it is the DEI professionals at these institutions that are responsible for operationalizing and actualizing these commitments.

“We found that law school DEI professionals are well trained, passionate, and positioned to do meaningful work,” said Belinda Dantley, assistant dean of diversity, equity and inclusion at Saint Louis University School of Law. “However, through our survey, we found that DEI professionals would benefit from intentional institution-wide approaches to achieving strategic outcomes as well as greater resources and support for their work.”

As a direct result of the published report, American University Washington College of Law and SLU LAW will partner with AMDiP and LSAC’s RISE Alliance to host Fly Further, Fly Together: Advancing Equity by Positioning DEI Professionals for Success on March 4, 2022. This event, held on zoom and free to attendees, will be a convening of law school leaders focused on furthering diversity, equity and inclusion goals through the intentional design of DEI positions and support for the professionals who do the work.

Read the full report

More information and register for Fly Further, Fly Together

Learn more about the diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts at SLU LAW