Mission: The Black Law Students Association (BLSA) of the University of California, Los Angeles is a component of a nationally incorporated organization. The recruitment and admission of Blacks into the law school are two of the foremost concerns of BLSA. BLSA is interested in the admission of persons who demonstrate an active desire to contribute to the Black community.
2018-19 Executive Board
Ajwang M. Rading, Co-Chair & President
Ajwang Rading is a 2L at the UCLA School of Law, where his work focuses on the intersections of law, civil & human rights, and American public policy. As Co-Chair of the UCLA Black Law Students Association, Ajwang aims to elevate Black voices in legal academia and practice while paving the path for UCLA to continue leading on issues of racial justice, diversity, and inclusion.
At UCLA Law, Ajwang is Co-Founder and President of the Policy Lab, and serves as a staff member on the UCLA Law Review. Following his 1L year, Ajwang served as an extern in the Criminal Division at the U.S. Attorney’s Office (Central District of California - Los Angeles), focusing on white collar and organized crimes, as well as national security.
Prior to law school, Ajwang worked at the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) in Montgomery, Alabama, assisting with death penalty appeals, researching lynchings throughout the American South, and advancing the cause of racial justice. Prior to his service at EJI, Ajwang worked on national security and criminal justice reform as Legislative Fellow for U.S. Senator Cory Booker, on Capitol Hill. In conjunction with his work on the Hill, Ajwang was a Congressional Fellow for The Lantos Foundation.
Ajwang is a Senior Fellow with Humanity in Action; a former Youth Advisor to the Clinton Peace Centre in Northern Ireland; an Alumni Scholar of the Jackie Robinson Foundation and the Institute for Responsible Citizenship; and Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the UCLA Global Citizens Fellowship, a competitive grant that offers undergraduate students an opportunity to pursue self-directed public service projects in international communities.
Born and raised in Southern California, Ajwang graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in Film and Television, in 2014, as UCLA Senior of the Year. He has also studied at, and received certification from, Harvard Business School.
Zalondria Graham, Co-Chair
Zalondria is a rising second-year law student at the UCLA School of Law. In her first year she served as a 1L representative for BLSA and as a staff member for the National Black Law Journal. Zalondria is also in the Critical Race Studies program here at UCLA. During her summer prior to law school, Zalondria served as an Urban Leaders Public Policy Fellow in Nashville where she worked for the Mayor's Office of Housing. She also served as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Guanajuato, Mexico before entering law school. Before her Fulbright Fellowship, Zalondria graduated from Georgetown University with a B.A in English and a double minor in Spanish and Theology. When she has spare time, Zalondria enjoys watching movies and reading Toni Morrison novels.
Rebecca Carter, Secretary
Rebecca graduated from the University of Miami in 2017 where she double majored in Philosophy on the pre-law track and Psychology. Throughout her undergraduate career, Rebecca’s passion for giving back to others manifested in every way from protests to task forces to volunteering as a mentor. Following graduation, Rebecca left the East Coast, where she had lived her entire life, and came out West to attend UCLA, School of Law. Now as a law student, Rebecca has found new ways to incorporate her legal studies into her other passions. This includes serving as a staff member for the National Black Law Journal as well as serving as a mentor with UCLA Law Fellows. For the upcoming academic year, Rebecca will be serving as the Secretary for BLSA as well as the Managing Editor for National Black Law Journal. Additionally, Rebecca is enrolled in the Critical Race Studies program at UCLA which focuses on the intersection of race and law. In her spare time, Rebecca loves reading biographies on historical figures and listening to old R&B music.
Kendrick Coq, Treasurer
Kendrick is a student at UCLA Law. He graduated from Cornell University in 2015 with a degree in Applied Economics and Management. Kendrick worked at AMC Networks in Ad Sales and Client Solutions for two years before coming to law school.
Kelsey Middleton, External Affairs
Kelsey is a 3L and grew up in Oak Park, Illinois and attended University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she graduated with a B.F.A. in Dance Performance. Prior to attending law school, Kelsey became a member of Visceral Dance Chicago, a contemporary dance company. After three years of touring with the company, Kelsey decided to pursue her legal education. Kelsey completed her 1L coursework at DePaul University College of Law in Chicago, Illinois and during her 1L summer she clerked in the Torts and Civil Rights Section of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. Kelsey transferred to UCLA School of Law in the fall semester of her 2L year and is thrilled to be a part of the UCLA law community. She is actively involved in the Education and Law Society, El Centro Legal, Public Counsel Cares Clinic, and LawCappella.
Tierney Sharpe Dioffo, External Affairs
Tierney is a second-year law student at the UCLA School of Law, where she is a staff member for the UCLA Law Review and the External Relations Editor for the National Black Law Journal. Prior to law school, Tierney worked for Mayor Joseph A. Hogsett of Indianapolis, IN. She graduated from Indiana University with a B.S. in Business (Management and Human Resource Management) and a B.S. in Public Affairs (Civic Leadership and Legal Studies emphasis). During her first summer, she worked as a legal intern for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Tierney is interested in Litigation, specifically Employment Litigation, and Entertainment Law. Tierney is also a licensed cosmetologist and enjoys reading mystery novels, watching television dramas and traveling on her quest to visit all 50 U.S. states.
Omarr Rambert, Social Chair
Omarr, class of 2020, is originally from Southern California. He attended Pepperdine University, where he majored in Film Studies with an emphasis in Critical Media Studies. Deciding to go straight to law school, Omarr is currently participating in the Media, Entertainment, and Technology Law and Policy Specialization. His interests include photography, videography, everything film, and being active. He looks forward to planning some awesome social events during the 2018-2019 academic year!
John Paul Karas, Academic Co-Chair
John Paul is a 3L pursuing a Business Law Specialization and serves as BLSA’s Co-Academic Chair. John Paul grew up in Arcadia, California and attended UC Riverside where he graduated with a B.S. in Business Administration, cum laude, concentrating in finance. During his 1L summer, he clerked in the Antitrust Section of the California Attorney General’s Office. During the summer of his 2L year, John Paul completed a diversity fellowship with Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith. He is also actively involved in UCLA's Business Law Association, Intellectual Property Association, and El Centro Legal, Landlord-Tenant Clinic.
Darren Pearce, Academic Co-Chair
Darren spent his early life in New York before moving to Pennsylvania as a teenager. It was there where he went to Penn State University to get his B.A. in Political Science. After graduating from Penn State in May 2017, he traveled to the west coast for the first time in order to attend UCLA School of Law in August 2017. For the 2018-2019 school year, he will be an officer of the Black Law Student Association, Business Law Association, and the Entertainment Law Association.
Saied Quadri, Cultural Awareness
Saied, class of 2020, was born and raised in Los Angeles, Ca. After graduating from Loyola High School, he attended Tulane University in New Orleans, La. where he studied Management and Finance. Prior to Law School, Saied worked for three years in corporate finance and aims to continue his career in Business Law.