Monday Morning Message 8.10.20 Be a Force for Justice. Register to Be a JEDI

Posted 2020-08-10 11:26am

When historians pick up their pens to write the story of the 21st century, let them say that it was your generation who laid down the heavy burdens of hate at last and that peace finally triumphed over violence, aggression and war. So I say to you, walk with the wind, brothers and sisters, and let the spirit of peace and the power of everlasting love be your guide.” – Congressman John Lewis 

(Note: this is an excerpt from an essay John Lewis wrote shortly before his death that was published in the New York Times on the day of his funeral.)

This morning my message is to our upper level students.

On June 11, 2020, we issued a Call to Action to address racial and social justice, and antiracism.

One of the commitments I made was to develop and offer a Fall 2020 Semester Interdisciplinary Course that deals directly with the issues being debated throughout the country in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd. So I’ve developed a new interdisciplinary course, LAW 522, that examines the historical and contemporary treatment of race in American law and society.

Law 522: Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion (JEDI)

Credits: 2
Format: Synchronous Online (Zoom)
Grading: Pass/Fail
Time: Tuesday, 5:00 p.m.-6:40 p.m.

If you are interested in registering for this new course, please go to CampusNet here:

I do not purport to be an expert on this subject, but even if I were, I believe that this subject is too important and too complex to offer just one perspective.

That’s why this new interdisciplinary course includes lectures from and discussions with 23 faculty from the College of Law and CSU faculty from Black Studies, Criminology, Communications, History, Health Sciences, Nursing, and Urban Studies. My sincere thanks to each law, graduate, and undergraduate faculty member for their generous and gracious commitment to share their perspective and expertise. I also want to thank President SandsProvost Zhu and my fellow CSU College Deans for assisting me with this ambitious effort.

The course will explore a variety of topics through a justice, equity, diversity, inclusion (JEDI) lens: systemic racism and classism, segregation, implicit bias, the history of slavery, police reform, search and seizure, voting rights, hate crimes, employment discrimination, workplace diversity, health equity and disparities, segregation, housing, civil disobedience, human rights, gender inequity, and LGBT rights.

This is a moment that demands a clear understanding of racism, injustice, and discrimination and what we can do to fight and eradicate it. It is important for us to learn how we got here and how systemic racism is more than individual acts of meanness.

Throughout American history, we have seen that the law can be a source of oppression or a force for justice. It is up to us to be forces for justice and learn how to be JEDIs. The justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion that racism hates is the justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion that we must embrace and master.

Those of us who have not lived the experience of racism that defines the lives of so many must dedicate ourselves to using the privilege of our life experiences to bring about change.

We charge our students and each other to advocate for justice everywhere, to fight against injustice anywhere, and to help heal our nation.

This new Course is part of this ongoing effort.


Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay Committed to Living Justice.

Have a great day. Have a great week.

For copies of past messages, please go to this link: Monday Morning Messages

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My views in all my Monday Morning Messages are my personal views alone and do not reflect the views of our law school or our university.

My best,


Lee Fisher
Dean, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law 
| Cleveland State University
Joseph C. Hostetler-BakerHostetler Chair in Law

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