Wednesday, January 22, 2020
The Daily op-ed: Law Students Demand Racial Justice, by Ashleen O'Brien (J.D. 2021, University of Washington):
First-year students at the UW School of Law began Winter quarter by demanding that the school administration prioritize diversity. Before a lecture that was scheduled to be given by Dean Mario Barnes to the entire first-year class, a group of students of color and their allies stood up and began a demonstration.
Clad in all black clothing and standing together in front of the class, the demonstrators commanded the attention of the room. Some had covered their mouths with pieces of tape reading “silenced” to represent the erasure experienced by people of color, queer people, people with disabilities, and other marginalized individuals at UW Law.
In a series of questions addressed to the Dean and faculty, demonstrators demanded to know why there are so few professors of color at the school, why professors who have continuously displayed racism and transphobia are not held accountable, and why there are no native students in the first-year class.
After firing off some 20-or-so questions, a group of students approached the Dean and presented a Demand Letter. In addition to demanding a more diverse body of students and faculty, the letter instructed the administration to allocate more resources to the required first year course, Introduction to Perspectives on the Law (“Perspectives”). ...
In an email to the school on Tuesday, Dean Barnes wrote “I hear your concerns, and we are taking action.” The Dean expressed that he hopes to find time for “an in-depth public dialogue about these extremely important topics” before the end of the month.
Update: University Of Washington Dean Responds To Law Students' Demand For Racial Justice