We are an anti-bias and anti-racist community...

Anti-Racism and Anti-Bias Pledge

University of Arkansas School of LawThe University of Arkansas School of Law community acknowledges that regardless of one’s own race or ethnicity, individuals are at various points along an anti-racist and anti-bias journey. We also understand that bias can be unconscious or unintentional and that racism is the combination of social and institutional power structures and racial prejudice. Identifying these two specific forms of oppression and how they create disparate outcomes does not mean that any individual intends to harm another, but it acknowledges that harm is occuring. Examining these issues and discussing them to uncover and remedy bias and racism requires courage, respect, and compassion. It also may not always be comfortable. However, as an anti-racist and anti-bias community, we will purposefully strive to identify, discuss, and challenge issues of race, color, ethnicity, and the impact(s) they have on students, faculty, and staff members in an effort to achieve a diverse, inclusive, and equitable community.

The University of Arkansas School of Law faculty, staff, administrators, and students affirm their commitment to recognizing, addressing, and eradicating all forms of racism and oppression. Faculty, staff, and administrators will engage and collaborate in teaching, service, and scholarship in ways that challenge oppressive and unjust forces in our community and the law. Students will focus on hearing, understanding, and addressing any racist or bias thought processes that hinder their growth as future lawyers. Together, we will work to reduce racial injustices both within the law school and the broader legal community. Faculty, staff, administrators, and students are united in pursuing the end of racial and ethnic bias and empowering our community to reach this collective goal.


  1. To affirm explicitly and in united solidarity our identity as an anti-racist and anti-bias academic unit and law school.
  2. To individually and institutionally explore and examine implicit bias and systemic advantage/oppression such that our anti-racism and anti-bias commitment be reflected in the life and culture of the School of Law through our policies, programs, and practices as we continue to learn about and address racism and oppression.
  3. To develop and implement strategies and best-practices that dismantle racism and oppression within all aspects of our law school and to contribute to the same transformation of the campus where possible.

Join the Pledge

Sign the Pledge and add your name to the list of School of Law community members who have already signed.

Sign the Pledge

View Co-Signers →

Take Our Student Survey

Check back later this month for our updated climate survey.

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Mentor a Student

We invite attorneys committed to improving diversity and inclusion in the legal profession to serve as a professional development resource to our students from underrepresented backgrounds. Mentors provide support and advice on how to handle the unique challenges confronting these students during their time at the law school and throughout their legal career.

Mentor a Student

Support Our Students

Established by the leaders of the Black Law Student Association (BLSA) in honor of the first six African Americans to attend the School of Law, the Six Pioneers Endowed Scholarship provides private support to students who contribute to a diverse educational environment. Please consider making a gift today.

Please note: The link will take you to a donation page with a giving prompt. Click “close” first, then make your donation to the Six Pioneers Scholarship.

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We have a plan...

The students, faculty, and staff Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee collaborated with the community to create the law school’s DEI Plan in spring 2020. That plan’s three primary goals are:

  • To build a Law School community that includes members with diverse backgrounds, identities, and perspectives.
  • To enhance all Law School community members’ feelings of belonging and their involvement in Law School activities.
  • To create an inclusive, affirming learning culture for all members of the Law School community.

Antiracism Task Force

This student-driven group that includes faculty and staff is committed to fostering a community that is welcoming, inclusive, and unafraid to confront bias and racism in order to eliminate it. The task force aims to understand the student experience, offer resources and programming to educate and advance the dialogue about antibias, antiracism, and justice.

Members of the Antiracism Task Force are:

  • Sharri Bell, 3L, Chair
  • Edison Williams
  • Susannah Pollvogt
  • Josie Bates
  • Donta Dismuke
  • Brooke Taylor

Diversity Coordinator

As a direct result of the law school’s DEI Plan, it has established a Diversity Coordinator to focus its efforts in this area. This position leads efforts to foster a dynamic, inclusive student culture, particularly for our student organizations and student leaders. The Coordinator also plays an active role supporting the SPARRK program’s efficacy and appeal to people considering law school. Finally, the Coordinator is a resource for all in the community to connect with resources, ideas, and support when navigating the issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Edison WilliamsEdison Williams
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Coordinator
Waterman Hall 312
Office: (479) 575-4164
Mobile: (479) 684-1156

Edison Williams is the school’s diversity, equity, and inclusion coordinator. He works closely with students, faculty, and staff to unify and guide efforts to assess and cultivate diversity and educational resources. He leads the Summer Pre-Law Program (SPPARK), which is designed to expand diversity in law schools and in the legal profession, and creates programs that recognize commonalities while engaging with and celebrating differences. Williams is passionate about being an agent of positive change and helping others to maximize their potential. He is inspired by the field of leadership and the opportunity leaders have to create a culture of compassion, passion, understanding, adeptness, inclusion, diversity, access, integrity, trust, honesty, authenticity, fairness, flexibility, effective communication, effectiveness and efficiency, fun, favorable change, learning, growth and development, and respect. He holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of New Haven and is working on a Master of Social Work.