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Dean's Diversity Action Council

The Dean's Diversity Action Council was formed in 2019 to ensure that Duquesne University School of Law is a welcoming and supportive environment for all. Our goal is to create a culture of inclusion and belonging at the School of Law where our students of color and other historically underrepresented students flourish. We aim to create long-term, sustained progress toward justice, equity, and human dignity. We act in accordance with our Spiritan Mission as we seek to energize our minds, hearts and spirits to overcome the affliction of discrimination and racial inequality.

Promise Statement on Race & Justice

This Promise Statement is an affirmative statement against racism and a commitment to lead positive change. It re-affirms our Spiritan Mission and comes from a place of dignity, respect, and love for all. The statement calls us to speak with clarity around the harms of racism, and to be actively involved as faculty (on and off campus) in efforts to promote justice, equity, and human dignity.

Reflections from the Dean's Diversity Action Council

During the 2020-2021 Academic Year, the Dean's Diversity Action Council met monthly and were joined by the leaders of SBA and our student affinity groups. Each meeting began with a reflection, prayer, or poem by one of our Council members or students to ground us in our work together. We have compiled these reflections to share with our community, because they powerfully represent the challenges we face, the courage we seek, and our hope for a brighter future.

As always, we aim to create long-term, sustained progress toward justice, equity, and human dignity.

Dean April Mara Barton
April, 2021

Council Members

photo of April Barton

April M. Barton

Dean and Professor of Law


photo of Ella Kwisnek

Ella Kwisnek

Associate Dean of Students and
Assistant Professor of Legal Research & Writing



photo of Tsegaye Beru

Tsegaye Beru

Associate Director for Faculty Research & Outreach Services,
Adjunct Professor


photo of Emile Loza de Siles

Emile Loza de Siles

Assistant Professor of Law



photo of Aman Gebru

Aman Gebru

Assistant Professor of Law



photo of Marissa Meredith

Marissa Meredith

Assistant Professor of Law



photo of Valerie Harper

Valerie J. Harper

School of Law Registrar



photo of Grace Orsatti

Grace Orsatti

Director of the Externship Program, Pro Bono Program and Assistant Professor of Clinical Legal Education


photo of Nicola Henry Taylor

Nicola Henry-Taylor

Director of Diversity



photo of John Rago

John Rago

Associate Professor of Law



photo of Jalila Jefferson Bullock

Jalila Jefferson-Bullock

Associate Professor of Law



photo of Carrie Samarin

Carrie Samarin

Executive Assistant to the Dean


photo of Rona Kaufman

Rona Kaufman

Associate Professor of Law



photo of Kaitlin Yacob

Kaitlin Yacob

Associate Director of Admissions


Student Affinity Group Leaders: 2020-2021

Antonio Bonnetty                     bonnettya@duq.edu      2D      Senator, Student Bar Association
Ell Connally                             connallye@duq.edu       3D      Vice President, Student Bar Association
Kallie Crawford                        crawfordk@duq.edu      3D      American Bar Association Representative, Student Bar Association
Shreya Desai                           desais@duq.edu           3D      President, First Generation Society & Public Interest Law Association
Rosemari Fassette                  fassetter@duq.edu        3D      President, Education Initiative for Individual Diversity
Kayla Ford                               fordk1@duq.edu            2E      Senator, Student Bar Association
Jake Harrison                          harrisonj2@duq.edu      3D      Vice President, Jewish Law Students Association                     
Alexandria Iwanenko               iwanenkoa@duq.edu    3D      Vice President, Hispanic American Bar Association 
Lexi Jones                               jonesa17@duq.edu       3D      President, Women's Law Association
Benjamin Kahn                        kahnb@duq.edu            3D      President, Jewish Law Students Association
Jacob Mazur                           mazurj1@duq.edu         3D      Vice President, Education Initiative for Individual Diversity
Madison Miranda                    mirandam@duq.edu      3D      President, Hispanic American Bar Association
Brianna Schmid                      schmidb@duq.edu         2D      Senator, Student Bar Association
Sarah Thomas                        thomass9@duq.edu       2D      Senator, Student Bar Association
Jonathan Veres                      veresj1@duq.edu           3D       President, Student Bar Association
Ariel Wetzel                            wetzela1@duq.edu        3D       Vice President, Black Law Student Association
Dominique Wiggins                wigginsd@duq.edu        3D        President, Black Law Student Association