Last week, the School of Law had its Heritage Pride Celebration. Here is a recap from Lydia Hanhardt, our Director of Diversity and Outreach:
Thursday, October 8 was not an ordinary night at the law school. When I walked down to the lower level of the building I could feel the activity and energy in the room. The Multicultural Law Students Association (MCLSA) was hosting its third annual Heritage Pride Celebration. I remember the first celebration two years ago; there were about 30 students and staff members all wearing our “MCLSA Celebrates _(fill in your)_ Culture” t-shirts. We shared cookies and soda and listened to then MCLSA President Majessire Smith talk about the importance of celebrating all the diversity in our law school. It was a moment of bringing our community together and the beginning of a wonderful tradition that has grown significantly.
And Thursday night was amazing! About 75 students, professors and staff members gathered for food and performances from around the world, including a Chinese Lion Dance group, a Native American drumming circle and dancers, Korean Drummers, and traditional Filipino dancers (who were the aunt and uncle of 2L student Jen Coliflores)! The drums boomed and energized everyone in the room. At one point some students, including MCLSA President Justin Pruett, even danced with the Native American dancers. And as Professor Colleen Murphy shared with us stories of her own cultural heritage I was reminded of the tremendous diversity that exists in our small school and our little State of Rhode Island.