Real Talk: UCLA Law Hosts Restorative Dialogue with Students, Faculty

By Kathryn Hatch

Real Talk 09012016 - 02
Students participate in Real Talk/Real Action: A Restorative Dialogue at UCLA School of Law.

After a summer in which the nation experienced tragic acts of gun violence, racial tensions and controversy on the presidential campaign trail, UCLA School of Law held a forum to explore ways that the school can effect positive change. Real Talk/Real Action: A Restorative Dialogue brought together more than 150 students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members at the school on Sept. 1.

Real Talk 09012016 - 03Evelyn Carter of the UCLA Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion addresses attendees at UCLA Law’s Real Talk/Real Action forum.
Real Talk 09012016 - 01Students participate in Real Talk/Real Action: A Restorative Dialogue at UCLA School of Law.

Participants discussed the impact of the police shootings of African-Americans in Chicago, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and St. Paul, Minnesota, the shootings of police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge, the #blacklivesmatter movement, the nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, a murder-suicide that occurred on the UCLA campus in June, and the ways racial and ethnic issues have been addressed in the presidential campaign. Many shared how they and members of their communities have been impacted by these events, and offered their ideas about how individuals and UCLA itself could contribute to solutions.

Speakers at the event included UCLA School of Law Dean Jennifer L. Mnookin, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs Emily Scivoletto, and Evelyn Carter from the BruinX division of UCLA’s Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

Tony Tolbert, UCLA Law adjunct professor and Director of Learning Environment & Academic Affairs, organized the forum. He acknowledged the difficulty of the summer’s events and the pain and despair that many have felt in their wake. "This is the first conversation, not the last," said Tolbert. "These dialogues require work and practice. But the more we engage in them, the better equipped we become to understand one another and work together."

Real Talk/Real Action was presented by the law school’s Office for Student Affairs, the UCLA School of Law Student Bar Association, the David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy, and the UCLA Law Learning Environment and Diversity (LEAD) Committee. The Office for Student Affairs regularly partners with law school and campus groups to bring "Real Talk" events to UCLA Law. Suggestions for topics, venues or partnerships can be sent to studentaffairs@law.ucla.edu.