Full slate of events set for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Week

posted Feb 22, 2019

Students, faculty, alumni and friends are invited to take part in the sixth-annual Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Week, a six-day celebration of the University of Washington School of Law’s core values and its enduring commitment to advancing social justice.

This year, a fully packed schedule offers myriad opportunities for attendees to learn, question, listen and have fun with peers, community leaders and expert speakers Feb. 25 – March 4.

“Diversity, equity and social justice are the ingredients that ensure a smooth running of our society,” said UW Law Professor William Covington, who serves as co-chair of the school’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. “This creates a situation where a variety of voices and points of view can create unique solutions to problems and imaginative methods of moving forward.”

Each year, UW Law sets aside a week to challenge its broader community to explore what it means to be a diverse, inclusive and culturally competent institution dedicating to elevating public discourse and fostering a dialogue where every voice is represented.

The week is a chance to come together for immersive sessions focusing on the biggest issues facing our world today and identify strategies to promote diversity. Ultimately, the goal is to continue to work to create a welcoming climate supportive of all students, faculty and staff, particularly those from underrepresented groups.

“Ideally, participants and attendees will come away thinking about a variety of issues and how those issues impact them as individuals,” Covington said. “It is our hope that persons attending events will both listen and, where appropriate, share their thoughts.

“We want to hear a variety of voices, create opportunities for answering questions, and stimulate persons to consider taking action to improve our law school, our profession and our society.”

Mark your calendars for an exciting week and explore the full schedule below.


Monday, Feb. 25

DEI Town Hall with Dean Mario Barnes

12:30–1:20 p.m.
William H. Gates Hall, Room 127
Sponsored by the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee

Dean Barnes will speak on the state of and barriers to diversity, equity, and inclusion at UW Law. Students will then have the chance to ask questions.

Movie and Discussion: “How to Survive a Plague”

3:30–5:30 p.m.
William H. Gates Hall, Room L201
Sponsored by OUTLaws

Come watch the award-winning documentary “How to Survive a Plague” about the early years of the AIDS epidemic and the work of activist groups like ACT UP and TAG to hold government and industry accountable. The film will be followed by a short discussion about how attorneys can work alongside activists to dismantle oppressive systems.

Town Hall Debrief and Community Discussion

5:30–7 p.m.
William H. Gates Hall, Room 240 (clinic space)
Sponsored by the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee

The DEI Events Subcommittee will hold space to debrief Dean Barnes’ town hall, share thoughts on the DEI Week banner, and talk about diversity, equity and inclusion at UW law and in the legal profession.


Tuesday, Feb. 26

The Current Climate of Immigration Law

12:30–1:20 p.m.
William H. Gates Hall, Room 127
Sponsored by IFAP

Luis Cortes, an immigration lawyer who has been representing Dreamers in DACA cases, will be giving an overview of the status of immigration law in the current administration. Stop by for food and a compelling discussion on the status of immigration law and policies now and what attorneys and advocates can do to further immigrants’ rights.

Washington Leadership Institute

3:30–5:15 p.m.
William H. Gates Hall, Room 138
Sponsored by the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee

The Washington Leadership Institute is a leadership development program created in 2004 by the WSBA Board of Governors. Its mission is to recruit, train and develop traditionally underrepresented attorneys for future leadership positions in the Washington State Bar Association and legal community.

Legal Observer Training

5:30–7 p.m.
William H. Gates Hall, Room 117
Sponsored by the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee

Have you ever seen the folks in green hats at protests and wondered what they were doing? Come learn how to put your legal skills to use observing police/protester interactions! The Legal Observer program is part of a comprehensive system of legal support by the National Lawyers Guild designed to enable people to express their political views as fully as possible without unconstitutional disruption or interference by the police and with the fewest possible consequences from the criminal justice system.


Wednesday, Feb. 27

Women in Salary Negotiation, Corporate, In-House and Beyond!

12:30–1:20 p.m.
William H. Gates Hall, Room 119
Sponsored by WLC and the Law and Business Association

Perhaps one of the most difficult and stressful aspects of a corporate legal career is the idea of negotiating a salary. Statistically, women are less likely to negotiate a salary than men. This panel hopes to change that by empowering all individuals with the skills necessary to enter a salary negotiation confidently and professionally. You will have the opportunity to hear from three corporate attorneys who have negotiated their own salaries and built successful careers. There will also be complimentary coffee and donuts.

The Global Struggle Against Policing: From Seattle to Palestine

3:30–5:15 p.m.
William H. Gates Hall, Room 115
Sponsored by the Minority Law Student Association

First, there will be an educational presentation about U.S.-Israel police partnerships, including exchange trips that bring together police, ICE, border patrol and FBI from the U.S. with soldiers, police, and from Israel. In these programs, harmful practices are shared to promote and extend discriminatory surveillance and policing in both countries.

Following the presentation, there will be a panel of community-organizers who will highlight their experiences resisting policing across different social movements and borders. In linking issues of militarism, imperialism, border enforcement, racism, colonialism, and surveillance, MLSA strives to build a conversation that interconnects communities in their struggle against policing.

Legally Brown

5:30–7 p.m.
William H. Gates Hall, Room 115
Sponsored by MESALSA

Join MESALSA for a panel discussion with members from the South Asian Bar Association of Washington and the Middle Eastern Legal Association of Washington. Our six panelists are practicing attorneys with a wide range of backgrounds and will be discussing their experience as South Asian and Middle Eastern attorneys in the legal field. Light refreshments will be provided.


Thursday, Feb. 28

Colorism in the Latinx Community

12:30–1:20 p.m.
William H. Gates Hall, Room 127
Sponsored by LLSA

Join us for a conversation with Sandy Restrepo of Colectiva Legal del Pueblo to discuss Colorism in communities of color with an emphasis on Latinx communities. This is a significant problem as Colorism can be used as a tool to advance white supremacy and further oppress the communities who engage with colorism. LLSA’s hope is to begin combatting complicity in the erasure of black, dark-skinned mestizos and Afro-Latinx peoples.

Bubble Tea and Braving Law School

3:30–5:15 p.m.
William H. Gates Hall, Room 116
Sponsored by APALSA

APALSA will be hosting a discussion with bubble tea and 2Ls/3Ls to talk about jobs, international opportunities, how to succeed in law school and the Asian/Pacific Islander experience as law students.


Saturday, March 2

Law for Black Lives Workshop: Movement Lawyering in Action

Full Day Training
Due to limited space, registration is required. Register>>
Register for location details
Sponsored by NCSA and The Gates Public Interest Law Program

This interactive course will explore both the theoretical grounding and practical application of movement lawyering. During the session, facilitators will ground participants in the history and practice of movement lawyering. Following a grounding in the theory of movement lawyering, we will collectively reflect on the challenges of using the law as a tool of liberation and explore how lawyers can adapt their practice to more effectively support the building of power in impacted communities. The session will include movement lawyers and organizers, who will share in-depth case studies and experiences of collaboration and reflect on how the law can strengthen social movements and win real change.


Monday, March 4

Trans Rights are Human Rights

12:30–1:20 p.m.
William H. Gates Hall, Room 127
Sponsored by CHRJ and OUTLaws 

Under the Trump administration, marginalized and vulnerable communities have withstood discriminatory policies and dehumanizing rhetoric. Unfortunately, the transgender community is no exception. The Center for Human Rights and Justice invites you to attend Trans Rights Are Human Rights—a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Week event featuring a panel of local transgender rights activists and lawyers. Our panelists will discuss federal and state protections of transgender people, Trump-era rollbacks of transgender rights and protections, and most importantly, the path forward. Join us as we discuss how emerging lawyers can become better allies to the transgender community.