COVID-19 Response

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Please Note: The University of Pittsburgh School of Law's Barco Library is OPEN during regular library hours for Pitt Law faculty and students only.  Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we are not open to Pitt users outside of Pitt Law; and we are not open to the public. If you have questions, please contact the reference desk at 412-648-1325 or

Office of Equity & Inclusive Excellence

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

Alicia Garza: The Purpose of Power - How We Come Together When We Fall Apart on Thursday, April 1st from 4:30 - 5:30 p.m.

The OEIE Achieving Excellence Speaker Series presents Alicia Garza. Alicia Garza is co-creator of #BlackLivesMatter, the Black Lives Matter Global Network, serves as the Strategy & Partnerships Director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance and is a co-founder of Supermajority, a new home for women’s activism. Alicia has become a powerful voice in the media and frequently contributes thoughtful opinion pieces and expert commentary on politics, race and more to outlets such as MSNBC and The New York Times. She has received numerous accolades and recognitions, including being on the cover of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People in the World issue and being named to Bloomberg’s 50 and Politico’s 50 lists. She is the author of the critically acclaimed book, The Purpose of Power: How We Come Together When We Fall Apart (One World Penguin Random House), and she warns you -- hashtags don’t start movements. People do...  Follow this link to register for this zoom conversation.

Yemi Olaiya - Featured profile for the Pittsburgh Legal Diversity & Inclusion Coalition (PLDIC) The Bridge newsletter

Pitt Law student, Yemi Olaiya, is featured in the PLDIC's February 17th edition of the newsletter "The Bridge".  Yemi shares information about herself including "I am passionate about social justice and seeing the world become an equitable place for all its inhabitants. Serving some of the most vulnerable and marginalized members of our society is my most current goal and what I plan to do after law school".  In addition, Yemi shares what Black History Month means to her, what she finds inspirational about Black History Month and wisdom regarding advice that she would give to a young African American law student starting out in their career and advice for legal employers regarding how to make workplaces welcoming and supportive for Black lawyers.

The Pitt Law Women's Association & the OEIE celebrate Women's History Month this March!

The Pitt Law Women’s Association (PLWA) and the Office of Equity and Inclusive Excellence (OEIE) celebrate Women’s History Month this March! 

This month is designated to celebrate the far too often-overlooked contributions of women to history, culture, and society. This month includes International Women’s Day on March 8th, which celebrates the economic, political, and social achievements of women throughout the world. The United Nations General Assembly recognizes this day because the active participation, equality, and development of women is necessary to secure peace, social progress, and the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
PLWA recognizes that the history of the women’s movement towards equality has not been equal to all women, nor has it always recognized the contribution of all women. While the 19th amendment granted women the right to vote in 1920, black women did not get equal access to the ballot until the Voting Rights Act of 1965. History recognizes women suffragist leaders like Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, but the women at the forefront of the African American women’s suffrage movement have not had the same historical recognition. Black activists like Mary Church Terrell, the first president of the pro-suffrage National Association of Colored Women, and Adella Hunt Logan, a member of the National American Women’s Suffrage Association who campaigned for universal suffrage, have been left out of our mainstream history textbooks. 

PLWA also celebrates the contributions of trans women and recognizes that trans womanhood is womanhood. We celebrate Angela Morely, the first openly trans person to be nominated for an Oscar. We celebrate Sir Lady Java, who gained national attention when she joined with the ACLU to challenge a law banning “cross-dressing” in L.A. We celebrate the thousands of other trans women who have made their mark in history. 

This Women’s History Month, and all others to come, we celebrate the achievements and contributions of ALL women, including women of color, trans women, and all women within the LGBTQIA+ community. We acknowledge how far we’ve come in achieving equality, and we recognize how far we still have to go.  

Jonny Gammage Memorial Scholarship - Applications due March 31, 2021.

The Jonny Gammage Memorial scholarship is named for Jonny Gammage, a black businessman and philanthropist who died from positional asphyxiation at the hands of white police during a “routine” traffic stop in 1995. This incident and the “not guilty” verdicts in court cases against the offending police officers inspired the founding of the Pittsburgh Racial Justice Summit and the Jonny Gammage Memorial Scholarship.  The scholarship is awarded to law students to encourage a path of lawyering for social justice.  Funds for the scholarship are provided by donation and from registration fees for the Pittsburgh Racial Justice Summit.  To be eligible, the applicant must be a law student in a local law school, must be a person of color, and must provide a resume along with the response to the scholarship question. This year's application deadline is March 31 at midnight.
More information and a link to the scholarship question can be found here.

Community Fund for Black Bar Applicants

Mission:  The Community Fund for Black Bar Applicants was founded by Octavia Carson, JD, a 2020 law school graduate. The intent is to provide at least $500 to 100 Black bar exam applicants across the U.S. each year. This mission stems from a goal to diversify the legal profession and raise the percentage of Black attorneys in the U.S. from 5% to 20% by 2024.

Eligibility and Process: One is eligible to apply if they identify as Black, African American or Pan African and if they are preparing to take a bar exam in the U.S. in 2021. Each time $500 is raised, it is donated to the first person currently in line to receive a donation. One can apply multiple times and may be moved to the end of the list once they receive their first donation.

OEIE Student Advisory Council - Spring Term 2021 - Fridays, Jan. 29th - Apr. 16th, from 12:10 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. 

Any interesetd JD students can participate in the Canvas modules and attend the Student Advisory Council's zoom meetings (see below).  Please contact Dean Pierson-Brown at to make this arrangement.

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


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