Loyola University Chicago

School of Law

Cultural Impact Initiative

Brief History
In the spring of 2014 a group of student leaders went to the administration with the idea of creating a group that would work towards the promotion of cultural competency in the classroom, combat implicit bias, and serve as a support to students. Dean Kaufman green lighted the project and set up the student capstone course. A group of 8 passionate and diverse change makers met once a week to shape and create the organization of the Cultural Impact Initiative. Beginning Spring semester of 2015, the Cultural Impact Initiative became an official student group and opened up to general members and has been growing ever since!

Successes of Last Year
8 students in the capstone course, 25 group members, 6 resource packets and 1 mental health protocol. The capstone met weekly to set a mission and created 6 resource packets addressing issues of privilege, sexual violence, and racial discrimination in housing. One of the students wrote a protocol highlighting research that demonstrates the serious environment of mental health issues in law school. It was so impressive, it was forwarded throughout the administration to help inform school policy! We hosted a coffee talk with professionals to discuss issues of inclusion and attended and supported other student groups that promote cultural competency. We have successfully transferred leadership and are prepared for another great year.  

Plans for Growth
Now that we are established, our biggest goal is to become more visible and more utilized. To accomplish this, we hope to gain more new members and have the students and professors utilize our services more often. We will also be working to grow our database of academic resources to strengthen classroom dialogue. We are also dedicated to improving mental health and will be working with LAP and Loyola to make law school a healthier and supportive environment.

2017-2018 Executive Board:

  • Co-Presidents: Talia Shifron – tshifron@luc.edu & Sowmya Sastri – ssastri@luc.edu
  • Mental Health Projects Coordinator: Brynne Morningstar – bmorningstar@luc.edu
  • Director of Advocacy: Emma McMullen – emcmullen@luc.edu