September 8, 2017 | Diversity week at Pepperdine Law is an annual series of events designed to bring together the community and introduce new students to the rich diversity that exists among our student body, faculty and staff. It serves as an opportunity for the international LLM students, the Straus Institute, and JD candidates to get to know one another and recognize all that each person brings to the school.
The week kicked off with an interfaith panel discussion moderated by Al Sturgeon. Professors Selina Brandt (Christianity), Ahmed Taha (Islam), Victoria Schwartz (Judaism), and Sukhsimranjit Singh (Sikhism) answered questions about their personal faith backgrounds and how their respective faiths inform their engagement at Pepperdine. Professor Singh assured the audience, “Carrying your identity close to your heart is a wonderful thing.” When asked about maintaining faith amidst the current social and political climate, Professor Brandt shared that she often looks to the example of Jesus Christ and the gentleness of his spirit. Addressing a room-full of aspiring legal professionals, Professor Taha added, “Faith or no faith, still see the human worthy of rights.”
On Wednesday, Professor Tanya Cooper invited students, faculty, and staff to an open conversation on diversity to allow an organic discourse on the pressing issues students face today. Students and faculty engaged in a thought-provoking and respectful exchange as they considered how to be positive voices in an increasingly divisive world.
What better way to conclude Diversity Week than with a collaborative feast and festival! The third annual Global Village Day recognized the national, ethnic, and even regional cultures represented at the law school through food, music, and fashion. Tables were prepared out on the terrace for the community to share traditional foods, garments, books, pictures, and facts about their culture. Countries, cultures, and organizations represented this year included: Italy, The American South, Armenian (Armenian Law Students’ Association), Brazilians, Germany, Panama, National Latina/o Law Student Association, International Justice Mission, Persian – Iranian Law Students Association, Uganda, South Korea, China, India, and Afghanistan.
We are so grateful for the participation of our entire community in making this year’s Diversity Week celebrations such a memorable success.