Sells e-mail

From: Marcia Sells

Date: Wed, Feb 10, 2016 at 3:05 PM

Subject: RE: continuing our conversation

To: “AllenGessesse, Keaton”

Cc: “”, “”, “”, “”, “”, “”,
“”, “
edu”, “”, “”, “”, “”,
“”, “”, “”, “”, “”, “”,
“”, “”, “” , Martha Minow , Edgar Filho

Dear Keaton and classmates:

Thank you for your note; I am responding to you on behalf of myself and Dean Minow. We were pleased to receive a response to our messages from last semester offering to meet, because like you, we were encouraged by the exchange of ideas, and looked forward to further discussions. However, as I noted when we spoke briefly on Monday, there are some matters in your email that did raise some concerns.

I think it would be most productive to meet in person, since there is a clear misunderstanding reflected in your message below about the spirit, intent, and outcomes of our lengthy meeting in December. It was good to hear your questions and to explore where decisions lie, what activities are already underway, and what is not going to happen here at HLS. It was a meeting, not a negotiation. There are many things that you list in your follow up note as ìareas of agreementî that were not in any way agreed to, and others that are inaccurate, or beyond the scope of what actually was discussed. It is important that we address these issues and misunderstandings face to face. I again invite you and your colleagues to come speak with me. There is a good deal of constructive work we have begun and more we can do together.

There are a number of projects that are in progress. A few of these projects have been ongoing as you know because, some of the students who have been part of your work on focusing HLS on issues of diversity and inclusion, have been participating and continue to do so on these projects. I share your sense of urgency in making progress in this area. I encourage you and your colleagues to work on these projects and help us connect with other students who, want to work with us on the following:

• Help interview candidates in April and May for the position: Director for Community Engagement and Equity;

• Encourage participation in a campus-wide climate survey administered by Verna Myers Consulting Group which is scheduled for release prior to Spring Break;

• Participate in focus group conversations on diversity at HLS lead by consultants and internal facilitators. They will start week of February 22nd and run through early April;

• Help promote the ByStander Training scheduled for March 10th developed by Harvard OSAPR & students from Student Government Committee on Title IX Prevention and Education Committee;

• Encourage students to participate in a new mentoring program that will launch on April 8th during Alumni/ae Reunion aimed to provide mentoring focused on life at law school and aspirational goals; and

• Provide additional ideas on revising New Student Orientation program, in collaboration with 1L section leaders, the student government orientation committee for Orientation August 2016.

We look forward to working with you and any other students interested in this necessary work, because the issues you have raised concerning diversity and inclusion are important in this community. I hope you agree that it will be valuable to meet, and I will work with Edgar Filho in our office to schedule a meeting very soon.

All the best,

Dean Sells


From: AllenGessesse, Keaton []

Sent: Monday, February 08, 2016 1:57 PM

To: Martha Minow

Cc:;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;; Marcia

Subject: Re: continuing our conversation

Dear Dean Minow and Dean Sells,

Thank you very much for meeting with us at the end of last semester; and we look forward to continuing the discussion. As we move forward this semester we want to make sure to solidify what was agreed upon during our meeting on December 9th. We are under the impression you agreed to the following measures:

The Royall Legacy

•  Create a permanent physical acknowledgment (such as a monument on campus) of this institution’s legacy of slavery, memorializing those who were brutalized by the Royall family, and describing the change of the seal and the Royall chair, contingent on the recommendation of the Committee on the Shield. (Part 1.b.)

•  Add at least one staff member to Committee on the Shield, chosen in consultation with various levels of the staff hierarchy. We understand that this has already been done.

Curriculum Reform

•  Consider monetary incentives that could encourage contextualization by more faculty members.

•  Consider whether the new ABA experiential learning requirement mandates contextualized teaching.

Faculty and Administration Transparency

•  Publicize to the HLS community the procedures of all of the faculty committees, for maximum transparency (or tell us exactly where they are already published).

•  Facilitate our conversation with the Corporation, President, and Provost about changing the two-thirds faculty vote system, likely to a simple majority, in order to ease the process of change in the future.

•  Consider giving clinicians the same power in institutional decision making (attend faculty meetings, sit on faculty committees, vote, etc.).

•  Urge the Provost and President to change the rule(s) against students being on committees across the University, and the rule demanding a ? faculty vote on decisions.

•  Urge the Corporation to revisit tenure and equal benefits for clinicians.

Diversity and Inclusion

•  Support efforts to combat gender inequality, sexual assault, and sexual harassment at HLS, including but not limited to organizing bystander intervention trainings and sexual assault awareness programming by this spring for students, faculty, and staff in order to address the hostile climate surrounding sexual assault at HLS.

•  Conduct a staff Diversity Audit in consultation with Kevin Moody.

•  Confer with Jessica Soban about increased diversity recruiting.

Recruitment, Retention, Promotion and Professional Development of Staff of Color

•  Outline ways that staff can seek career development and enter higher levels of management.

•  Ask Kevin Mooty to email all staff stating that there will not be retaliation for organizing around inclusion issues; and personally ensure that staff of color who voice their experiences on these issues are not retaliated against.

•  Provide resources for staff of color including, but not limited to, a commitment to diversifying senior management through development and promotion of staff of color, and required cultural competency training for senior staff and management.

•  Establish a mentorship program for staff of color.

•  Implement measures to ensure staff of color are respected and supported in their work, including required cultural competency training for all staff.

Affordability and Financial Access

•  Educate 1Ls and 2Ls on LIPP before EIP begins (i.e., Orientation). (Part 5.e.)

•  Consider making SPIF needs-based.

Diversity Committee

•  Adopt a Harvard Law School Diversity and Inclusion Committee, made up of students, staff, faculty, and administrators, to monitor progress at Harvard Law School in the areas of pedagogy, diversity, and culture.

Advocate for the monitoring committee we outlined at the upcoming faculty meeting.
Some of the commitments you made are vague; we look forward to crystalizing them, as well as establishing a timeline and process for implementing these changes at HLS as soon as possible.

Thank you in advance for the confirmations of things we discussed in our last meeting. We hope to get the ball rolling on necessary changes here at HLS.

We very much look forward to your response, and working with you collaboratively in the future.


on behalf of ReclaimHLS


On Mon, Dec 14, 2015 at 1:48 PM, Martha Minow wrote:

Hi, I write to thank you for the extended conversation last Wednesday. Dean Sells and I look forward to talking together again with a focus on next steps, and wonder if 5:30 pm on 12/17 works? In addition or alternatively, what about 5:30 on 1/26?

With best wishes,

Martha Minow