Like millions of others around the world, the Drake Law School community reacted strongly to the May 25, 2020 death of George Floyd. The school's mission includes preparing graduates to promote justice. While it is beyond the scope of this guide to include all the ways the school fulfills this mission, this page attempts to capture some of the more significant initiatives the school has taken since mid-2020 to further the cause of racial equality under the law.
"Please know that we stand in solidarity with our students of color – we see you, we hear you, and we support you. We stand with all of those working to make positive change in our society. We share your abhorrence for the brutality inflicted on George Floyd and so many other victims of racial injustice. I hope that together we can continue this mission to make justice for all a reality for all."
Part of a June 3, 2020 message from Drake University Law School Dean Jerry L. Anderson
Coordinated by Prof. Danielle Shelton, several Drake professors taught a new one-credit course, Current Topics in Race & the Law, that explores the role that race plays in the law. As an outgrowth of one of the capstone projects, the law school formed a new alumni committee on equity and inclusion. Twenty alumni attended its first meeting on April 16.
Prof. Danielle Shelton and Associate Provost Erin Lain facilitated a Drake Law School Faculty Workshop on Integrating Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion into the Law School Curriculum.
At the April 22, 2021 faculty meeting, the faculty approved two new courses (Law and Social Change and Race, Law & Social Science) and a new certificate program: Social Justice and Public Interest Lawyering.
Drake University Law School will host a fall webinar series to explore whether existing policies and practices perpetuate racial inequities in American society – from racial profiling to Afrocentric facial feature bias and environmental harms. This series of live-streamed talks, open to law students, lawyers and the larger community, features Drake Law faculty and guests sharing their expertise about underlying structures that reinforce racism and oppression in our society.
All lectures will be delivered on-line and are scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. CT. This series is free and open to the public.
This guide itself was part of the Drake Law School response. It was originally published on June 8, 2020 and will be updated on an ongoing basis. It inspired similar guides at Penn State Dickinson Law Library and St. John's Law Library and was recognized as the July 2020 Website of the Month by the Online Bibliographic Services SIS of the American Association of Law Libraries.