Diversity and belonging: A welcoming Minnesota Law community

Diversity & Belonging Affinity Council

The Diversity & Belonging Affinity Council’s mission is to promote a welcoming, inclusive, and supportive environment for all students, including those from underrepresented communities, and equip all students with the skills to develop cultural competence and ability to mitigate individual and systemic bias in the legal profession.

The Council is chaired by Assistant Dean of Students Erin Keyes ’00, and includes Nubia Esparza, Senior Coordinator of Diversity & Student Programs, and student leaders from Minnesota Law’s affinity student organizations. The Council creates pathways for involvement and input from the student community, collaborates on programming and our ongoing discussion series, and provides feedback to the Racial Equity & Justice Committee.

Minnesota Law’s Commitment to Racial Justice page provides additional information on the Law School’s ongoing efforts in racial equity and justice, as well as our response to the killing of Twin Cities community member George Floyd.

Minnesota Law Community Conversations

Minnesota Law Community Conversations

Minnesota Law Community Conversations explore the intersection of individual rights and systemic inequities in law and legal education.

The Fall 2020 Discussion Series included the events below:

  • The Power of Words: Protecting Free Speech and Those it May Harm on Wednesday, September 23, 2020
  • Dangers of Colorblindness in Law on Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Minding the Justice Gap Scholarship Series

Minding the Justice Gap with the Innocence Project of Minnesota

Javon Davis (center) with the IPMN team: Rachael Melby, 3L, IPMN Advancement & Operations Manager Emily Luxem, IPMN staff attorney James Mayer ‘01, Davis, IPMN legal director Julie Jonas ‘95, IPMN Executive Director Sara Jones '88, and Brandy Hough ’19.

The Diversity & Belonging Council presented Minding the Justice Gap with the Innocence Project of Minnesota (IPMN) on April 14, 2020. Audience members heard about IPMN’s groundbreaking advocacy, the recent success in the Javon Davis case, and how others can get involved in the on-going work of closing the gap in the criminal justice system.

Read about Minding the Gap.

Minding the Justice Gap: School Segregation in the Twin Cities

Minnesota Law’s Diversity and Belonging Committee held the inaugural Minding the Justice Gap Scholarship Series on November 20, 2019.

Professor Myron Orfield of the Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity discussed school segregation in the Twin Cities and how it—along with other factors like gentrification and housing issues—contribute to a lack of diversity in American higher education.

Contact Minnesota Law’s Diversity & Belonging Affinity Council

At Minnesota Law, we believe that excellence and diversity go hand-in-hand. We strive to implement these core values in a number of ways so that we may offer a diverse, equitable, and inclusive experience for all students, staff, and faculty. Through our dedicated Diversity & Belonging Council, we continue to work toward these goals. Email lawdiv@umn.edu with questions.