The school’s Student Bar Association Diversity Week Committee won the award for its work with Loyola’s 2011 Diversity Week. The committee consisted of representatives from 16 student organizations and 2 clinics.
“Diversity Week happened with a lot of hard work on the part of the SBA and Diversity Week Committee,” says Puneet Toor, SBA president. “It wouldn’t have been such a success without the genuine interest and involvement of our campus clubs and community who took it upon themselves to demonstrate and share their diversity through various events planned and orchestrated by their members.”
With “exploring the intersections of our identity” as the theme, one of the week’s events brought organizations together to co-host a panel about whether or not to be “out” at work with one’s religion or sexual identity.
Additionally, Diversity Week encouraged academic organizations to diversify their regular projects. To this end, the Environmental Law Society hosted an event on environmental racism.
Another goal of Diversity Week was to raise awareness of the full array of identity groups on campus. During Loyola’s 2011 Diversity Week, more than 400 students attended the various events.
“It also wouldn’t have been a success if we didn’t have a campus community interested in attending the events,” Toor says.
This was Loyola Los Angeles’ third year for the program, which grew out of a Diversity Day that took place in 2009. It then grew into Diversity Week in 2010, but was much smaller that year. The 2011 version had 15 events compared to the 5 events in 2010.
Plans are in the works to host Diversity Week again in 2012. The goal is to build on the infrastructure that has been put in place through the previous events.
“We have rather large shoes to fill,” Toor says. “The board last year was amazing, and I feel really lucky to have been a part of it.
“However, it appears as result of the awareness brought on by the ABA award, more organizations and groups plan on getting involved this year. I have a feeling it will only become bigger as the years go on.”
Loyola Law School Los Angeles Dean Victor Gold says the school was extremely pleased to win the award.
“Loyola of Los Angeles has long been one of the most diverse law schools in the nation,” Gold says. “Diversity enriches the quality of a legal education and should be a core value for the entire legal profession.”