Cleveland State College of Law’s commitment to equality runs deep through our history. We were the first law school in Ohio to admit women and one of the first to admit African Americans. Today, CSU|LAW seeks to honor that legacy through dedicated efforts of faculty, administration, staff, and students to listen and evolve to ensure we remain a welcoming law school dedicated to diversifying the profession and a force of justice and equality in the broader community.
June 2020 Dean’s Call to Action: No Room for Silence
In June 2020, Dean Fisher issued a Call to Action to address racial and social justice and antiracism holistically, including through programming and curricular efforts, and through providing resources and advocacy. To implement the Call to Action, four work groups were formed and engaged in ongoing projects during the 2020-2021 and 2022-2023 academic years:
- School Climate Work Group
- Training and Education Work Group
- Public Action Work Group
- Community Conversations Work Group
Among other projects, the work groups created a series of Community Conversations to engage our community in processing difficult topics. See No Room for Silence archive page and Racial Justice Task Force archive page.
Dean's Diversity Council
Director: Professor April Cherry
The Dean's Diversity Council continues to carry forward our work to create an inclusive and welcoming environment and to address racial and social justice and antiracism. The Council engages faculty, staff, and students in ongoing conversations and events designed to improve our student experience and identify ways the College of Law can support our community. “Conversations that Build Community," a recent project from the Council, brings together CSU|LAW for conversations on topics that impact our community to create principled spaces where we can discuss, process, and learn from each other and, at times, grieve together. The Conversations project strives to uncover how members of the CSU|LAW community truly feel about a range of subjects including safety, support, inclusion, and challenges faced, such as feeling undervalued, as well as places in the CSU|LAW community where members feel seen, celebrated, and valued. In Spring 2023, The CSULAW community was invited to anonymously write their thoughts on these, and more topics. The comments were posted in the law school atrium as part of an ongoing and growing installation. Additionally, the council maintains an online, anonymous comment box and hosts events and discussions throughout the year.
Partnership with The CSU Diversity Institute
Since Spring 2021, the College of Law Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) Initiative, co-directed by Professor Matthew Green and Professor Reginald Oh, has been engaged in an ongoing partnership with The Diversity Institute at CSU to assess the culture and climate of CSU|LAW in terms of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion through surveys, interviews and focus groups and conduct training interventions once the data is complied and analyzed.
Culture of Belonging
Creating a culture of belonging is critical to supporting students to success. In addition to organic connections, students at CSU|LAW find connection through affinity-based student organizations, our College of Law Peer Mentor Program, and programs sponsored by our Office of Student and Career Services.