Dean’s Leadership Forum on Diversity returns to Widener Law Harrisburg campus
Public Relations - Published: March 19, 2010
Society’s maturing appreciation for the important role diversity plays in achieving success will be the focus of the 2010 Dean’s Leadership Forum on Diversity.

The daylong event, founded by Dean Linda L. Ammons and now in its fourth year, will look at ways diversity has grown from a legally prudent and socially rewarding idea to an indispensible practice, particularly for those seeking success with progressive and innovative approaches to business in a difficult economy.

The event, titled “Diversity: An Idea Becomes an Ideal in Central Pennsylvania and Beyond,” will take place Monday, March 22 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in room A180 of the administration building on Widener Law’s Harrisburg campus.

The program will feature four panel discussions. Topics include:
  • A look at diversity and compliance with federal and central Pennsylvania statutes, regulations and judicial responses. (10 a.m.)
  • The need for greater diversity in the legal profession. (11:30 a.m.)
  • The impact that a diverse workforce has upon productivity on several levels. (2 p.m.)
  • An examination of diversity and affirmative action in the wake of the New Haven, Conn. firefighters’ case, Ricci V. DeStefano, decided in June 2009 by the U.S. Supreme Court. (3:30 p.m.)
Ammons300pxCropped2009Ammons is one of only five African-American female deans currently running a U.S. law school. She began the Dean’s Leadership Forum on Diversity in 2007 with a program on diversity in higher education. Other programs have focused on diversity in state government and in sports.

“There is no longer a question of whether we can afford to make diversity part of the workplace culture,” Ammons said. “The reality is that any business seeking to succeed must have the most robust, well-rounded and varied team working together for its greater good. I am looking forward to another enlightening forum, one that will raise stimulating questions and move us further toward an appreciation of the potential a diverse workforce represents.”

For assistance in organizing the event, Ammons turned to the Harrisburg faculty’s Diversity Committee co-chaired by Professors Michael J. Cozzillio and Tonya M. Evans, each of whom has published in subject areas dealing with race and gender issues, particularly in the sports law field. The diversity committee has assembled an impressive array of speakers representing the academic, professional, government and business communities. Those panelists will include prestigious law school deans, general counsels of major corporations, influential heads of bar associations and prominent practitioners in the central Pennsylvania legal arena.

The day will begin with continental breakfast and registration at 9 a.m. Ammons will deliver opening remarks to start the program at 9:45 a.m. It has been approved for 5.5 continuing legal education credits for attorneys in Pennsylvania and Delaware (no ethics). The cost to attend for credits is $75 and includes lunch. The program is open to the general public at a cost of $35 and also includes lunch. Students may attend for free, without receiving lunch or conference materials. To register, or for more information, contact Sandra L. Graeff at 717.541.3965 or

Widener Law is grateful to Dilworth Paxson, Eckert Seamans, and Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Co. for their sponsorship of this event.