The Pennsylvania State University Dickinson Law School in Carlisle is creating an Antiracist Development Institute, a program offering organizations across the country systems design-based approaches to implementing antiracist practices, processes, and policies.
The ADI will run its first prototype course in summer 2022, concurrent with the debut of a phase-one rollout of selected volumes from the eight- to ten-volume book series, titled Building an Antiracist Law School, Legal Academy, and Legal Profession, which will be edited by Dickinson Law Dean and Donald J. Farage Professor of Law Danielle M. Conway. Professor Conway proposed the book series to guide a collective movement among the approximately 200 American law schools to embrace antiracism as a core value for teaching and learning, with the goal of perpetuating systemic equity throughout the legal academy and the legal profession.
Dickinson Law has received gifts to launch the ADI from the Law School Admission Council and AccessLex Institute, a nonprofit that helps talented law students become professionals. Each organization is providing charitable grant funding for the project over three years. The National Association for Law Placement has also stepped forward with funding to support the initiative. In addition, Pennsylvania State University will contribute $90,000 annually over the next five years.
“We want to bring in organizations’ leadership teams to pilot the blueprints that we have designed for building an antiracist law school,” said Dean Conway. “We will collect data from participants, analyze that data and disseminate information about our results and what we have learned from the experiences of participants, leadership teams, and their institutions.”
Before coming to Penn State in 2019, Professor Conway served as dean and professor at the University of Maine School of Law. Before that, she served as a faculty member at the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaii Manoa from 2000 to 2014, as a faculty member of the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law from 1998 to 2000, and as a faculty member of the Georgetown University Law Center from 1996 to 1998.
Professor Conway holds a bachelor’s degree from New York University, a master of laws degree from George Washington University, and a juris doctorate from Howard University.