The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion supports students and upholds the law school’s mission by prioritizing community and sense of belonging, programming and initiatives, cultural and learning events, and academic support.

Here’s a summary of key highlights from the 2022-23 academic year from the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and across the institution. Please note that this is a summary and not exhaustive of the numerous projects and initiatives that support community, social justice, anti-racism and anti-oppression. (For a comprehensive history of our foundational DEI work, see our 2018—2022 Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Report.)


Here are some exciting developments related to the School of Law’s distinctive mission.

Associate Dean for Mission Innovation

In summer 2020, Loyola University Chicago School of Law created a new mission statement that clarifies the school’s calling to work to dismantle the structures that generate and sustain racism and all forms of oppression. The school also created a new position, associate dean for mission innovation; this leader partners with faculty to integrat​e anti-racism, racial justice, and the effects of privilege and oppression into the classroom—and into the institution as a whole. Sarah Waldeck, distinguished professor of law, has served as associate dean for mission innovation since 2023.

Professional Identity Formation Course

In 2022, when the American Bar Association (ABA) announced it would require all law students to take a professional identity course, Loyola was already years ahead of the curve. For the last five years, Loyola’s School of Law has required all 1L students to take this anti-racism, intersectionality, and implicit bias course to help them better understand their clients, themselves, and the systems of the law. 

Kimberly Mills (LLM ‘15) and Imani Hollie (JD ‘20) direct the School of Law’s Professional Identity Formation class, an anti-racism, intersectionality, and implicit bias course required for all first-year students.

Bias, Cross-Cultural Competency Requirement

The law faculty recently approved the addition of a new curricular requirement that all law students take at least one class that includes substantial coverage of topics related to bias, cross-cultural competency, and racism (BCCR). While the law school’s BCCR requirement helps satisfy ABA Standard 303(c), the law school’s Teaching and Curriculum Committee had already started work on this requirement prior to the ABA decision. The law school now offers dozens of classes that include substantial coverage of these issues. This requirement expands our students’ knowledge on issues of racism and other forms of bias in the legal system, and helps us advance our mission of preparing “graduates who will be ethical advocates for justice and equity, who will lead efforts to dismantle the legal, economic, political, and social structures that generate and sustain racism and all forms of oppression, and who will advance a rule of law that promotes social justice.”

New Faculty

The School of Law welcomed two nationally recognized criminal law scholars as full-time faculty members beginning with the 2022-23 academic year.

  • Jeannine Bell is a nationally recognized scholar in the areas of policing and hate crimes, and she has written extensively on criminal justice issues. Her research is broadly interdisciplinary, touching on both political science and law, and relying on her empirical expertise.
  • Blanche Bong Cook is a leading expert on sex trafficking, criminal law and procedure, evidence, appellate practice, federal courts, trial advocacy, employment discrimination, critical race theory, and critical race feminist theory. 

Student Input

The Career Services Advisory Committee gathered community input on how the Office of Career Services could better meet students’ needs. The Student Organization Coalitions brought together like-minded groups to discuss ways they could meet regularly with the law school administration to discuss their interests, student experience, and needs.


Community & Sense of Belonging

Fall 2022

  • Welcome Lunch for Diverse Students
  • Diwali Event
  • Law Student Stress Support Group
  • Sip & Snacks

Spring 2023

  • Student Coalition Meetings
  • Taste of Loyola
  • Wellness Support during Finals

Programming & Initiatives 

Fall 2022

  • Welcome Lunch for Diverse Students
  • Orientation Community Exercise
  • Robes in the Law School

Spring 2023

  • Martin Luther King Jr. Service Day
  • Faculty Discussion on Tyre Nichols, Policing and Police Brutality
    • Featuring Professors Maria Hawilo, Blanche Bong Cook, Stephen Rushin, and Jeannine Bell
  • Faculty Discussion on Tyre Nichols, Policing and Police Brutality, Part 2
    • Featuring Professor Blanche Bong Cook

Cultural & Learning Events

Fall 2022

  • Diwali, Festival of Lights
  • Transgender Day of Remembrance

Spring 2023

  • Black History Month
  • Celebrating Holi
  • Diversity Week, April 10-13, 2023
    • Bronzeville Walking Tour: Bronzeville is one of the Chicago communities where Black wealth has been taken or redistributed, particularly in terms of housing. A tour guide from the Chicago History Museum walked us through not just the neighborhood, but also its rich and vibrant history and culture that led to its designation as a National Heritage Area in 2022.
    • Trans Registries in America Discussion: Texas, Florida, and other states have started efforts to collect personal information, like hormone prescriptions and other health services from trans students in universities. We discussed this legislation, its violation against human rights, and how to legally advocate. Attorneys from Lambda Legal and Legal Council for Health Justice and the Center on Halsted were a part of this discussion. All were invited to join us in acknowledging the ongoing harms facing the transgender community while also uplifting trans people’s joy and success stories.
    • Let the Little Light Shine Film ScreeningEducation Law and Policy Society and Stand Up For Each Other (SUFEO) presented the film Let the Little Light Shine about a high-performing, top-ranked African American elementary school, The National Teachers Academy (NTA), which is threatened to be closed and transformed into a high school favoring the needs of the community’s wealthier residents. Parents, students, and educators mobilized to fight for the elementary school’s survival, and a litigation team that includes two Loyola Law alums files a lawsuit to block the closure.
    • Networking Event with Students and Diverse Professionals: Students met diverse lawyers and practitioners to get advice on best practices when networking, interviewing, and interning in a speed networking format, followed by a reception to have intimate discussions on industry do’s and don’ts.
  • Dialogue & Prayer
  • Day of Service & National Museum of Mexican Art
  • Eid Dinner
  • Spring Congratulatory


“Commitment to Racial Justice” Award

Loyola University Chicago’s Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (OIDEI) recognized the School of Law for its commitment to racial justice at a year-end celebration. The School of Law has been a committed campus partner to the University’s READI Framework (Racial Justice, Equity, Anti-Racism, Diversity, and Inclusive Excellence) and supporting a collective vision of sense of belonging. We look forward to continuing our work in partnership with the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.


Black Law Students Association, Race and the Law Symposium—Keeping Pace: A Discussion on Minority Underrepresentation in the Legal Profession, the Challenges These Attorneys Face and the Work to be Done

Children’s Legal Rights Journal—The Harms of Family Separation: An Interdisciplinary Analysis

Loyola Defense Coalition—Abolition 101. Participants learned more about abolishing and replacing harmful legal systems instead of reforming them.

First Defense Legal Aid—Know Your Rights Training. The organization spoke to youth at the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center and informed them of their rights and how to assert them when interacting with law enforcement officers.

Rodin Center for Social Justice/Equip for Equality Partnership—IDOC intakes-Conducted client intakes from individuals within the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”)


Adjunct Faculty Training

Adjunct faculty participated in a December 2022 training called “Understanding Bias as a Tool for Building Equity in the Classroom.” The training was aimed at adjunct faculty looking to grow in their awareness of the role that cognitive bias plays in shaping classroom interactions, student assessment and teaching, among others, and tools for bias interruption. Then-Associate Dean for Mission Innovation Dean Sacha Coupet and Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Tania Luma facilitated the training.