group of students participating in our annual Students of Color Dinner.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The School of Law’s Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion works with students, faculty, administrators, and staff to promote diversity, inclusion, and cultural competency throughout all levels of the School of Law.

Through programming and support, we work strategically to develop relationships with students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds to continue to cultivate and maintain a diverse and inclusive law school environment.

On this page:

photo of Tolu.

Tolulope "Tolu" Odunsi
Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

723 O'Brian Hall, North Campus
Buffalo, NY 14260-1100

To support our diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, please consider making a gift to our Social Justice and Racial Equity Fund.


  1. Revamp Academic Programming and Student Success
  2. Increase Diversity Amongst our Student Body, Faculty, Staff and Administration
  3. Promote and Advocate for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  4. Expand Support and Opportunities for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Mission Statement

The University at Buffalo School of Law is committed to providing an environment where students, staff, and faculty from underrepresented minority groups excel personally, academically, and professionally. The Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion seeks to continue to collaborate with the various School of Law Departments and community partners to provide a comprehensive approach to executing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives. Through program development, strategic planning, and community outreach, the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion strives to continue to create an academic community comprised of a diverse group of professionals whose differences are valued as a source of strength in our law school community.

How We Achieve Diversity

  • Recruit talented and diverse students, staff, and faculty.
  • Provide support to retain diverse students, staff, and faculty.
  • Develop a culture of respect and awareness for diverse identities and culture.
  • Provide governance mechanisms through which diversity, equity, and inclusion concerns can be addressed.
  • Engage the community by providing opportunities for members of the Buffalo-Niagara community to engage with students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds at the School of Law.

Tools for You

Special Sessions Communications Student Groups Resources

On this page:

Upcoming Programs

photo of Mary Burnett Talbert.

Sept. 24, 2020 - "For Such a Time as This"
Mary Burnett Talbert and the Struggle for Social Justice
Honoring a Life and Legacy
12:00-1:30 p.m. | Attend via livestream

In celebration of the newly named Mary Talbert Way on UB’s North Campus, we invite you to learn more about Mary Burnett Talbert’s extraordinary life and work. Talbert is described by the National Women’s Hall of Fame as a “civil rights and anti-lynching activist, suffragist, preservationist, international human rights proponent, and educator.” Her pioneering work in the fight for freedom laid the foundation for the civil rights movement, and her legacy continues to this day.

UB President Satish K. Tripathi will offer welcome remarks.

Speakers include:

Lillian S. Williams (Panelist) is Associate Professor and former chair of the Department of African American Studies.  

Lillie Wiley-Upshaw (Panelist) is chair of the Buffalo Niagara Freedom Station Coalition and Co-Chair of the Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor Commission.

Carole Emberton (Moderator) is Associate Professor in the Department of History. 

Presented by the UB Office of Inclusive Excellence.

photo of Paulette Brown.

Sept. 26, 2020 - "How to Hire - and Retain - Diverse Lawyers"
6:00 - 7:00 p.m., Q&A to follow | Register to attend

The UB Law Alumni Association in conjunction with the Bar Association of Erie County, the WNY Chapter of the Women’s Bar Association of New York, and the Minority Bar Association of WNY invite you to a virtual presentation featuring Paulette Brown, the first woman of color to serve as President of the American Bar Association (2015-2016).

Questions? Contact the Law Alumni Office at or 716-645-2107.

Past Programs

August 12, 2020 - Defunding the Police: A Conversation

A panel conversation among leading criminal law scholars about the nationwide movement to defund the police. The discussion offered critical perspectives on the meaning of activist calls to defund the police, how defunding relates to abolitionist social movements, and crises in American policing that inform these movements. Panelists included experts on the intersections between criminal law and sociology, local government, disability theory, and anti-carceral social movements.

July 16, 2020 - UB Student Affairs Town Hall on Racial Injustice with University faculty, staff, students.

June 11, 2020 - George Floyd, Race and Policing

A faculty panel discussion featuring School of Law Professors Luis Chiesa, Athena Mutua and Anthony O’Rourke.

A faculty panel discussion featuring School of Law Professors Luis Chiesa, Athena Mutua and Anthony O’Rourke.

Ongoing Programs

Students of Color Support Group

Mondays 2:30-4:00 - Online
Please contact UB Counseling Services (716-645-2720) to schedule a group screen.

This semi-structured support group is committed to providing an affirming space for Students of Color to reflect on their experiences at a Predominately White Institution. In this group we recognize the unique challenges of Students of Color and aim to foster a community for students to give voice to their experiences, gain support, and develop healthy coping strategies.

Topics explored in this group include but are not limited to: navigating microaggressions, feelings of isolation, imposter syndrome, family/social relationships, and maintaining healthy self-care in the current socio-political climate.