University News

School of Law Launches New Center for Social Justice

Published: September 25, 2019 | Categories: All News, Law
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Western New England University is pleased to announce the launch of its new Center for Social Justice. The School of Law's roots in community-based education stretch back for a century, with the mission of promoting educational and service engagement with the greater Springfield community. In our Centennial year of 2019, we honor that history by inaugurating a Center for Social Justice that will strengthen collaborative efforts between the Law School and the region to work toward a more just, equitable, and inclusive society.

"The School of Law has a strong foundation of social justice engagement," Dean Sudha Setty said. "The Center for Social Justice will not only serve as an organizing framework for our varied offerings and provide a cohesive presentation of justice-related teaching, scholarship, and service, but it will also broaden the School of Law's academic offerings; engage students more robustly; and work with community organizations and partners to identify and begin to address unmet needs that cut across law and other fields."

The Center will also facilitate critical discourse in academic and community circles about social and economic justice, and promote social justice scholarship and advocacy. With its multidimensional vision, the Center has a planned initial focus on thematic areas that respond to the unmet legal needs of the community and capitalize on the School of Law's institutional strengths, with subsequent expansion to other issues affecting the local, national, and global communities. The initial areas of substantive focus reflect the expertise of our nationally recognized faculty: civil rights and international human rights; community economic development and economic justice; gender equity and legal issues faced by the LGBTQI community; immigrants’ rights; and racial justice. The Center will also expand the School of Law's ongoing outreach efforts to diversify the legal profession through its engagement with young people in local schools, creating a pipeline to law school for those traditionally underrepresented in the field.

"We believe that this endeavor will be transformative for the School of Law and for the community, and we look forward to collaborating with future partners to advance social justice goals," remarked Lauren Carasik, the Center's director. Western New England University President Anthony Caprio added, "The Center for Social Justice will deepen the University's engagement with Western Massachusetts and enhance the School of Law's mission of training a diverse group of lawyers to serve their communities. This innovative and exciting initiative is a fitting way to position the School of Law for its next century of service."

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