Office of Equity & Inclusive Excellence

Pitt Law is not directly governed by the OMB memo issued on Friday, September 4, 2020, or the Executive Order issued on September 24, 2020, nor is either document consistent with our core values and the goals we have identified for the education we provide. We continue to embrace and support efforts to end institutional racism and sexism, and remain steadfastly committed to ensuring that our society lives up to its obligation of providing equal justice under law.

Established in fall of 2018, the vision guiding the operation of this office is Equity and Inclusive Excellence.

  • Equity is structural. Our vision of an equitable law school is realized when institutional barriers to fulfilling one’s potential as a law student are removed or accommodated for
  • Inclusion is cultural. An academic culture can be described as inclusive when learners feel welcome and supported within both the law school and the communities the school is integral to

The mission of the OEIE is:

  • To identify and remove or accommodate for structural barriers to students accessing opportunities available through the law school.
  • To develop, discuss, and model the habits of inclusion that will support student and faculty efforts to bring about an inclusive campus community.
  • To engage with external contacts to enrich students' regional and professional connections.

Veterans Day Message: Nov 11, 2020

Pitt Law students Jesse Lamp and Charles Howe along with the Office of Equity & Inclusive Excellence share the following in honor of Veterans Day on Wednesday, November 11, 2020

On Veterans Day, we honor those men and women who served in the United States Armed Forces. We recognize the sacrifice and commitment made by those in the the armed services - Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and the Coast Guard who protect the American ideals laid out in the Constitution of the United States. Those who served come from all walks of life. Often the contributions to the military by women and those veterans from marginalized communities are overlooked.

The United States Armed Forces are a microcosm of American society at large.  It is essential to recognize that the people who served are a diverse group.  Service members from marginalized groups are typically slightly overrepresented in today's military.  The obvious exception to this generality is women veterans. The military remains a male dominated profession.  However, many of our veterans are women who have worn the unform and served honorably.  We must remember and acknowledge the sacrifices made by eveyone who served.  If we do not recognize all veterans, we do a disservice to the veteran community.  When we pause to give thanks for the selflessness of our veterans, let’s be thankful for the contribution of all veterans who have served our nation.


Dear Pitt Law Community,

The current events throughout our nation, and now even worldwide, in response to the recent killings as a result of police brutality and racial vigilante violence are beyond disturbing. Being black in America should not be a death sentence. We hear these words stated by every day well-intentioned folks, as well as decision- and policy-makers. Yet, all too often, we hear and see that it can be. This is part of why we say “Black lives matter”.  Institutional racism and white supremist attitudes reflect utter disregard for the humanity of black individuals.

Protest in response to the senseless killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, among far too many others, is an expression of grief and anger, as well as a voice raised to those in power who continue to ignore calls for just reform. Whether taking to the streets or taking a knee, the pain of this moment must be expressed. Individuals who challenge or disdain such reactions to the reality of racism must reflect, as Bernice King stated, on whether, “you are more devoted to order than to justice, and more passionate about an anthem that supposedly symbolizes freedom than you are about a Black man’s freedom to live.” 

Pitt Law’s Office of Equity and Inclusive Excellence stands in solidarity with the families of those who have lost loved ones due to vigilante racial violence or excessive use of force by police.  The OEIE further serves the law school community as a resource for discussion on why institutional disregard for black life is an issue that adversely affects us all; for resources on how you can get involved in the fight for equal justice and anti-racism; and for information to learn more about the entwined history of race and law in the United States. If you missed today’s community dialogue, we invite you to join in the conversation by participating in OEIE virtual office hours: Thursdays from noon-1pm, beginning June 4th

Sincere regards,

The Office of Equity and Inclusive Excellence


Action Plan in Response to Pitt Black Law Students Association (BLSA) Request for Initiatives


Pitt Law Credo

  • INCLUSION: We strive to create an environment where persons of differing backgrounds are welcomed, where different perspectives are respectfully voiced and respectfully heard and where every individual is valued & included.
  • CIVILITY: We treat people with unconditional respect and an assumption of good faith, giving meaningful consideration to the ideas, beliefs, and feelings of others as a matter of professionalism and self-discipline.
  • INTELLECTUAL RIGOR: We challenge ourselves and others to critically examine facts and ideas meticulously and from diverse perspectives.
  • JUSTICE: We strive to attain equal justice under law, and to assure that justice benefits everyone across our society.

Reference Materials

University Support Resources

Contact

Tomar Pierson-BrownTomar Pierson-Brown
Associate Dean for Equity and Inclusive Excellence
Barco Room #422C | tnb25@pitt.edu
Vincent JohnsonVincent O. Johnson
Director of Equity & Inclusive Excllence 
Barco Room #312 | vij14@pitt.edu