UF Law’s Roadmap for Racial Justice
Dean Laura Rosenbury shared the following message with the UF Law Community on June 17, 2020.
Dear UF Law Community,
I am indebted to the many students, staff, faculty, and alumni who have exhorted UF Law to seize this moment to fight for racial justice, both at home on our campus and throughout the state and nation. I am grateful to our W. George Allen Chapter of the Black Law Students Association (BLSA) for issuing the first call to action, and to our Student Bar Association (SBA) and Latino Law Students Association (LLSA) for quickly following with statements of their own. Many students, staff, faculty, and alumni have shared their pain and their hope during open discussions, through email, and on social media, including a powerful letter authored by students and signed by over 200 students and recent alums. A faculty-led initiative also produced a powerful anti-racist resolution that many of you have signed. I hear you, and I thank you.
The College of Law is committed to anti-racist action and to supporting the anti-racist initiatives of our community members. Anti-Blackness, white supremacy, and other forms of racism have deep roots in our society, including within the legal system and the legal profession. Many of you have long fought for change, challenging and enduring the pervasiveness of systemic racism. We value your existing work and your ongoing commitment to change, and we welcome your ideas for how we might better support your work. We also encourage all members of our community to come together in new ways to work for change in the near and long terms.
Here you may find a summary of how the College of Law, as an institution, is translating what we have heard from many of you into concrete action. Some highlights include:
• Partnering with the 11 other law schools in Florida to create a Virtual Institute for Racial Justice
• Adding 10 new Associate Directors to our Center for the Study of Race and Race Relations
• Forming a new Racial Justice Research Assistant Corps
• Implementing required anti-racism and anti-bias training for all faculty, staff, and students
• Continuing our efforts to diversify our faculty, staff, and student body
• Identifying and combating systemic racism within the College of Law
• Developing ways to incorporate racial justice throughout our curriculum
Much of this work is already in progress, thanks to the steadfast work of Michelle Smith, our Assistant Dean for Inclusion, and many other committed staff and faculty. We will redouble our efforts with your feedback and input. Other initiatives are new, and we welcome your feedback about how to refine them.
We are committed to progress. Black lives matter, and we will actively fight systemic racism in all its forms, including police brutality, racial profiling, persistent racial disparities, and inequalities on our campus. We are committed to making the College of Law an inclusive and welcoming environment for every single member of our community and to providing all students with the tools necessary to uphold and improve the rule of law for decades to come.
Laura Ann Rosenbury
Dean and Levin, Mabie & Levin Professor of Law