At UCLA Law, we believe that building bridges across various lines begins with open dialogue and increased understanding about our respective experiences, backgrounds and biases. We strive to create multiple platforms for students, faculty and staff to engage in conversation about a myriad of issues. Additionally, we look to translate those conversations into strategies and programs.
- Campus Climate Dialogues and Brainstorming Circles - Student Affairs and the Learning Environment And Diversity (LEAD) Faculty-Student Task Force facilitate dialogues and brainstorming sessions relating to campus climate (classroom dynamics, co-curricular programming, social interaction, issues relating to the main campus) potential curricular and co-curricular opportunities for supporting diversity and students from diverse backgrounds.
- Student-Faculty Dinner Dialogues - Dean Mnookin hosts periodic dinner dialogues at her home to bring together students and faculty for critical conversations in an informal space. Discussion themes have included: Diversity and Inclusion at UCLA Law; Inclusive Teaching Practices and Student Resilience; and Balancing Act: How Wellness and Balance in Law School can Lead to Academic Success and Impact Campus Climate.
- Real Talk/Real Film Series - The Real Talk and Real Film series offer alternative medium for students to explore and engage issues within the law which are often avoided. Discussion topics have included difficult conversations in the classroom, mentalillness and police violence. Real Film has featured screenings and discussions of Fruitvale Station; Dear White People (winner of the 2014 U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award at the Sundance Film Festival); and Agents of Change (an award-winning documentary that connects transformative campus protests of the 1960s to current student-led movements).
Student and Faculty Workshops and Trainings
- LEAD Teaching Workshops - LEAD sponsors two first-year teaching workshops each year, combining teachers of a particular subject in the first-year curriculum with a small group of students to examine the climate in the classroom as it relates to particular subjects and cases. The discussions are student-led.
- Restorative Justice Leadership Training - Borrowing from indigenous Maori and Native American systems of justice, restorative justice (and the umbrella term “restorative practices”) focuses on the needs of the harmed party, the person causing harm and the community when harm has occurred. Student Affairs trains first-year law students on how best to assist in repairing a harmed community, using examples of conflict within the university campus climate.
Cultural Exchange and Celebration
- Real Music Series - This series features live music performances by student musicians from across campus to promote diversity, inclusion and wellness over a communal meal in the Shapiro Courtyard. Student Affairs has co-presented Real Music events with the Black Law Students Association, La Raza Law Students Association, Native American Law Students Association, and South Asian Law Students Association, featuring the music, dance, food and history of the groups represented.
- Off The Record - The Student Bar Association, with support from Student Affairs, sponsors a regular open mic event for students from diverse backgrounds to come together through music, poetry, comedy, spoken word and other art forms.
Alumni Engagement and Student Connections
- UCLA Law Unite - Our Unite initiative brings together UCLA Law alumni from all backgrounds and members of our diverse student-run identity organizations and journals for mentoring, career information, networking and other engagement opportunities in various settings on and off campus, from the Fowler Museum at UCLA to the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center in Little Tokyo.
- UCLA Women Lead - Based on the pillars of Leadership, Empowerment, Advancement and Distinction, UCLA Law Women LEAD provides a lifelong partnership with women in the legal profession. The initiative addresses the distinct challenges facing our alumnae throughout their careers and will create an intergenerational support network to assist and partner with women from first-year law students to professionals at the most senior levels.
Orientation Activities for Incoming First-Year Students
- Community Read Forum - Incoming first-year students are encouraged to read one of several designated books which reflect underrepresented voices and experiences within the law. During orientation, students participate in group book discussions facilitated by upper-division students, faculty and alumni. Past selections include: The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness; Flagrant Conduct: The Story of Lawrence v. Texas; My Beloved World; Blinded by Sight: Seeing Race Through the Eyes of the Blind; and The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness.
- Implicit Bias Workshop - Students participate in a mandatory facilitated workshop on implicit bias and learn its implications for how we interact with people from different backgrounds. Students are encouraged to take the Implicit Association Testsadministered by Harvard’s Project Implicit, which assess an individual’s biases with respect to various social groups.
- “Think About It” Sexual Violence Prevention Training – Students are equipped with information and bystander training on how to create a community of support and prevent and respond to sexual violence and/or harassment.