This past spring, eight law students participated in the Corley’s Institute Diversity & Inclusion Certificate Program through the George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School . This program is designed to give law students the opportunity to learn how to foster diversity and inclusion in their future workplaces.
In eight sessions, the program provided an excellent opportunity to build skills that are needed in the legal profession today and allowed participants to engage with fellow law students from around the country. One of the main objectives of this program is to educate students about the social and economic benefits derived from diversity and inclusion and to give students a working familiarity with fundamental aspects of diversity and inclusion initiatives in professional settings.
Topics covered within the program included the marketplace demand for diversity and inclusion, how diversity and inclusion efforts dovetail with equal employment opportunity laws, understanding and recognizing implicit bias, cultural competence, methods for building and retaining a diverse workforce, and management tools to forward diversity and inclusion efforts.
Sofia Perla, JD Class of 2021, was moved to participate in the program because she believes the idea of diversity and inclusion has surfaced to the forefront of our social and political landscape in the recent years.
“I wanted a more than artificial understanding of what diversity and inclusion really means and how these ideas can be incorporated and equipped to elevate voices that historically have been hushed,” said Perla.
In addition, this course provided an overview of the evolution of the management of diversity and inclusion and presents targeted diversity practices. The course specifically examined diversity in the contexts of teams and leaders, and it frames diversity in terms of current business and cultural challenges.
The students who participated and successfully completed the program include Cody Curabba, Victoria Dias, Samantha González, Dorysped Mancebo, Sofia Perla, Lauren Ramos, and Shahnaz Uddin.