Office of Equity & Inclusive Excellence

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.

Diversity Intergroup Dialogue Course - Fall 2020 - Catalog Number: 5640 / Class Schedule: Mondays, 5:10 p.m. - 7:10 p.m. in Room # 102

Description:

The Diversity Intergroup Dialogue Workshop is open to all 2L, 3L, LLM, MSL and joint-degree Pitt Law students and brings together those with diverse cultural and social identities in a small group setting, with the goal of engaging students in experiential learning as well as open and constructive dialogue concerning issues of intergroup relations, conflict and community. Students will learn from each other’s experiences and examine how race, ethnicity, class, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression relate to power and privilege; and will practice constructive approaches to dialogue and the bridging of differences.  Students will also consider how attorneys in a pluralistic society can use Intergroup Dialogue skills to better serve clients, advance causes and enhance professional satisfaction. Students will expand their learning through readings and participating in workshop activities and interactive discussions.

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