School of Law's Promise Statement on Race and Justice
The Duquesne University School of Law faculty stands united against the affliction of racial injustice. Racial oppression, which is fueled by an enormous assist from poverty, constitutes a threat to human dignity and justice. It must be met head on, with the full force of all of our voices, talents, and skills. The time is now. Our resolve must be unshakable.
As part of a Catholic and Spiritan University, our Law School's Mission since 1911 has been built upon a pursuit of justice that advances the values of human dignity and mutual respect. As faculty, we vow to vastly intensify our commitment to engage with and support the efforts of families, community groups, the legal system, interdisciplinary researchers, law enforcement, clinicians, students, teachers, faith-based groups, and policymakers to eradicate racism wherever it lurks. We will work to combat racist stereotyping and counteract explicit and implicit bias within the criminal justice system.
With words and actions, we will teach our students that kindness and respect for human dignity is an undeniable precondition for a peaceful and just world. We commit to articulating specific initiatives in the form of open and honest forums and increased learning opportunities for our entire community.
Together, we shall energize our minds, hearts, and spirits to overcome the affliction of discrimination and racial inequality. The road to racial justice is a complex and difficult journey and requires strength, compassion, equanimity and grace. This is a journey that begins individually with each and every one of us. As we undertake this effort toward peace and justice, we are guided by the universal gifts of faith and hope. Along this path of action and reconciliation, we are reminded that the greatest lesson of all is love.
Our Dean's Diversity Action Council is committed to continued action and we are working on additional action steps we intend to communicate in the weeks and months to come. Below are the initiatives that are currently under discussion or already completed:
- Law School conversation series on Race and Democracy
- Faculty/staff workshops on cultural competency, implicit bias, anti-racism
- Curricular modifications
- Expanded Orientation planning
- "Our Voices" compilation of stories and reflections on race to raise awareness
- CLE Programming on Race and Poverty
- Social Justice Reading Club
- Resources to assist faculty and draw on extensive research that has been done on systemic racism in our criminal justice system
- Prayer Service for Justice and Peace for the elimination of racial injustice in our nation (June 2020)
- Partnership with Xavier University of Louisiana, the nation's only Catholic school among the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (April 2020)
- Collaboration with Pittsburgh Legal Diversity & Inclusion Coalition
Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and horizon-expanding education. A campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, Duquesne prepares students by having them work alongside faculty to discover and reach their goals. The University's academic programs, community service, and commitment to equity and opportunity in the Pittsburgh region have earned national acclaim.
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