Antiracism Coordinating Committee

In Fall 2020, Dean Dickerson created the Antiracism Coordinating Committee to:

  • Vet potential non-academic programs and projects related to antiracism,
  • Help ensure the Law School's accountability to fulfill promises made regarding antiracism, and
  • Design and coordinate the antiracism audit the Law School has committed to conduct as part of the AALS Law Deans Antiracist Clearinghouse Project.

Committee Members

Members of this Committee will be annually appointed.

2021–2022 Committee Members

  • Ms. Tania Luma, Chair
    Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
  • Mr. Clarence Glenn
    Director, Student Activities & Leadership Development
  • Mr. Benjamin Goodman
    Third-Year Law Student
  • Ms. Gabrielle Richards (’18)
    Assistant Director, Admissions
  • Ms. Joy Roberts-Caldwell
    Associate Director, Career Services
  • Mr. Michael Seng
    Professor of Law
    Director, Fair Housing Legal Support Center

    Co-Director, Restorative Justice Project
  • Ms. Ashley Shannon 
    Second-Year Law Student

2020–2021 Committee Members

  • Ms. Tania Luma, Co-Chair
    Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
  • Mr. Clarence Glenn, Co-Chair
    Director, Student Activities & Leadership Development
  • Ms. Kimberly Cross
    Third-Year Law Student
  • Ms. Gabrielle Richards (’18)
    Assistant Director, Admissions
  • Ms. Joy Roberts-Caldwell
    Associate Director, Career Services
  • Ms. Charity Seaborn
    Second-Year Law Student

Committee Reporting

On April 12, 2021, the Antiracism Coordinating Committee offered an update related to its campus antiracism audit and progress related to student demands.

Initiative Progress & Status Updates

In response to law student concerns, departments and related authorities have provided the following information and status updates on current initiatives.

Administration Updates

Initiative/ConcernProject StatusRelated Information
Expand Student Involvement on Campus Committees and Create Greater TransparencyProject Pending/Awaiting ImplementationBackground
Students requested that Law School committees reflect the perspectives and involvement of students beyond the SBA. Students requested that Law School committee information, remedies, and appointments be made public to the student body and remain accessible to track UIC Law’s progress.

Status/Progress Details
SBA members are assigned to existing Law School committees. Further representation would require a faculty vote. In lieu of this, the SBA has been encouraged to report public information and share Committee happenings with the student body on their website or through email.
Create Student and Faculty Oversight for Discrimination ComplaintsNo Project ProgressStatus/Progress Details
Third parties, including students or faculty, are not involved in University Office of Access & Equity (OAE) investigations, which includes complaints of student or employee misconduct.
Create an Antiracist Curriculum and Campus EnvironmentProject in Process/Progress OngoingBackground
Historically, encouraging participation in new surveys has posed a challenge; however, several established surveys, which include diversity-focused questions, already have a significant amount of student participation. These include the annual LSSSE and UIC Office of Diversity surveys. Information from those surveys can be gathered and compiled into a separate report. Existing information is available at https://diversity.uic.edu/data/equity-dashboard/.
Consultants to Provide Antiracism Training to Faculty and StaffProject in Process/Progress OngoingBackground
Full-time law faculty and staff with adjunct faculty status are required to take annual mandatory implicit bias training, which includes an introduction to implicit bias, research evidence on the impact of bias across disciplines, and practical strategies to mitigate the negative effects of bias in everyday life. The training is part of a long-term effort by the University to provide faculty and staff with training on a regular basis. Further details on additional training for faculty and staff will be provided as it develops.

Status/Progress Details
UIC Law's Antiracism Coordinating Committee is engaged in facilitating a AALS-modeled Antiracism Audit. The Law School's personalized audit will address several questions related to students' experiences with discrimination, in the classroom, and with peers and will explore equity and inclusion practices within the institution.

You can review the AALS model audit questions at https://www.aals.org/about/publications/antiracist-clearinghouse/#audit.

Office of Admissions Updates

Initiative/ConcernProject Status (If Applicable)Related Information
Why is there a disparity in scholarship awards?N/ABackground
The Law School awards both merit-based scholarships to entering-students and donor-funded scholarships to continuing students. The majority of the Law School’s scholarships are awarded at the time of admission to students based on merit, of which LSAT scores have traditionally been a strong indicator. The disparity in entering-student scholarships reflects the array of matriculants’ LSAT scores. The Law School also awards a number of donor-funded scholarships, and a considerable percentage of these scholarships are awarded to Black students (approximately 28% in 2019-2020).

As reported in the 2019 ABA 509 Report, Black students comprised 10.68% of Law School’s student body and received 6% of scholarship funding. It should be noted, however, that these scholarship statistics do not fully account for all of the Law School’s Black students. The ABA 509 Report calculations does not include students of more than one race (even though one is Black), students who are Black and Hispanic, or Black non-resident aliens in the “Black” category. (This information was current as of Spring 2021. Updated information will be provided for Fall/Spring 2021-2022.)

Status/Progress Details
The Office of Admissions is now weighing non-LSAT merit indicators more heavily in the calculation of entering-student scholarship awards.
Address the number of Black students in each section.N/ABackground
Students are assigned to their section during registration. (All evening students are assigned to the same section.) Admissions takes great care to ensure diversity—not only racial diversity—across all sections; however, sections can change due to factors outside of the Law School’s control. For example, some students register but do not matriculate, and some students matriculate but withdraw.
Address the low number of Black students at the Law School. N/ABackground
According to the 2019 ABA 509 report, Black students comprised 10.68% of the Law School’s student body. The ABA does not include students who report more than one race (even if one race is Black), Blacks who are Hispanic, or students who are Black, non-resident aliens, so the actual percentage of Black students is actually higher.

UIC Law has a higher enrollment of Black students—in absolute numbers and relative percentage—than all other Illinois law school, and our Black student enrollment exceeds the national average of accredited U.S. law schools. The Office of Admission greatly values diversity and will continue to put significant effort into recruiting and admitting Black law students.

Career Services Office Updates

Initiative/ConcernProject Status (If Applicable)Related Information
Create a position that is primarily responsible for helping Black graduates gain employment.Project in Process/Process OngoingBackground
The CSO strives to serve all students, while prioritizing initiatives that are of particular interest to the Law School’s student body, including diversity opportunities, judicial clerkships, and public interest. The CSO has an Associate Director who is primarily responsible for managing diversity initiatives including communication with employers regarding diversity opportunities, disseminating information about those opportunities to relevant students, and counseling students through the application process to maximize their success.

Status/Progress Details
As of Spring 2022, the CSO has planned a Diverse Mentoring Program to recruit alumni and non-alumni professionals to enhance student networking with established practitioners in various practice areas.
Initiative/ConcernProject Status (If Applicable)Related Information
Create a clinic that educates students on civil rights law and racial injustice and trains them to combat these injustices.N/ABackground
The Law School has a number of clinics that already incorporate many of these goals in their existing efforts, and nearly every clinic works with underrepresented groups and in under-resourced communities.

  • The Community Enterprise & Solidarity Economy Clinic represents community-based organizations, worker-owned businesses, and other community-based businesses in underserved communities in the Chicago area. Many of these businesses are led by workers of color. The clinic also has a grant to do equitable cannabis work.

  • For more than two decades, the Fair Housing Clinic has served clients in the Chicago area who have been illegally denied housing because of discrimination under federal, state, and local fair housing laws and ordinances.

  • The International Human Rights Clinic works on human rights projects domestically and internationally. Clients come from countries all over the world, many of whom come from war-torn countries such as Syria. In addition, the clinic takes on research projects, which currently includes a project related to Black Lives Matter and the protests over the summer, in collaboration with the National Lawyers Guild.

  • The Pro Bono Litigation Clinic litigates civil rights cases. The Clinic regularly handles prisoners ́ rights cases, including some on lack of access to medical care. In addition to its civil rights work, the clinic represents persons in expungement and record-sealing work.

  • The Veterans Legal Clinic represents veterans denied benefits and discharge upgrades that offer them access to financial, medical, and educational benefits. Many of these veterans have physical or mental disabilities related to their service.

Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Updates

Initiative/ConcernProject Status (If Applicable)Related Information
Provide students and faculty access to antiracism resources.Project in Process/Progress OngoingBackground
The Law School community can find a number of collected resources throughout the other pages of the ODEI website. One example is the UIC Law Librarians' Antiracism Library Guide (created in Fall 2020) that links to scholarship on various topics like Chicago race relations, Whiteness, and the economic impact of slavery and discrimination. You can access the guide at https://libraryguides.law.uic.edu/. It will be updated periodically, but feel free to make suggestions.
Hire up to five graduate assistants.Project in Process/Progress OngoingStatus/Progress Deails
By the end of Fall 2020, ODEI had four graduate assistant. Three assistants graduated in Spring 2021. As of Spring 2022, ODEI has four graduate assistants.
Create ongoing forums for Black students to hear concerns, perspectives, experiences, and solutions, and create actionable plans from the forums.Project in Process/Progress OngoingBackground
Since 2020, the Law School has created a number of events and forums to educate and engage the campus community on issues and concerns related to racism and becoming an antiracist.

Spring 2021
February 18 & 25 – Social Justice at UIC: On Campus, and in the Community
March 11 – Diversity Week Keynote: Paul Butler
April 12 – ARCC Townhall

Fall 2020
October 2 – Student Meeting with Chancellor Amiridis
October 27 – Student Forum with Dean Luma
November 5 – Faculty Panel on Economic Segregation & Inequality

Summer 2020
June 8 - Bakari Sellers, My Vanishing Country
June 15 - Tony Romanucci, Attorney for George Floyd’s Family
June 17 – Faculty-Led Discussion on Violence by Police
July 8 – Faculty Town Hall on White Supremacy and Racism at the Law School
July 15 – Student Forum on Antiracism
July 24 – UIC Student Life and Support Working Group Graduate Panel