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What does it mean to be an antiracist law school? Mitchell Hamline and the push for equity.


Jul 15, 2021 11:11 AM

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Moderator: Errika Ryan
Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion @Minnesota State, Ramsey County, and Hennepin County Bar Associations
Erikka Ryan is a proud double graduate of Minnesota State University, Mankato, where she most recently earned her master's degree in Counseling and Education. Her main education, research, career, and citizen focuses have been in closing education and career gaps with historically marginalized groups and advancing racial equity through holistic and intentional support. Erikka has worked as a TRIO Upward Bound advisor with Dakota County Technical College, doing 1:1 personal and career coaching for low-income students of color, and she became Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for the Minnesota State, Ramsey County, and Hennepin County Bar Associations in January, where she is supporting equity efforts in the Minnesota legal communities. Erikka and her husband recently bought their first home in North Minneapolis and love exploring and supporting small restaurants and businesses throughout the metro in their free time.
Anthony Niedwiecki
President and Dean @Mitchell Hamline School of Law
A longtime legal educator and activist on behalf of LGBTQ rights, Anthony Niedwiecki began serving as president and dean at Mitchell Hamline School of Law on July 1, 2020. Previously dean and professor of law at Golden Gate University School of Law in San Francisco, Niedwiecki is the second president and dean at Mitchell Hamline, which was formed in 2015 through the combination of William Mitchell College of Law and Hamline University School of Law. He is the first openly gay president and dean at Mitchell Hamline or any of its predecessor schools. Niedwiecki practiced as an attorney for three years before moving into legal education in 1998. In addition to Golden Gate, he has held law school faculty and administrative positions at Temple University, Arizona State University, Nova Southeastern University, and John Marshall. His scholarly research focuses on metacognition and the need to better train students to transfer their learning to new and novel situations. For more than two d
Michael Birchard
Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion @Mitchell Hamline
Michael Birchard started in June as vice president of diversity, equity, and inclusion at Mitchell Hamline, a new position created by President and Dean Anthony Niedwiecki. He comes to Mitchell Hamline after more than 20 years at Minnesota State, the network of public community colleges and universities across Minnesota. For the past two years, he’s been associate vice president for equity and inclusion at Dakota County Technical College and Inver Hills Community College. He’s also an adjunct professor at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, where he teaches a master’s course called Human Relations, Cultural Diversity, and American Indian Culture. Raised in Willmar, Minnesota, Birchard has two degrees from Saint Cloud State University. During his time as an instructor and administrator, Birchard has served as adviser to several student affinity groups; he also helped found several organizations and developed many courses. During his time at Inver Hills and Dakota County Tech, his w