Monthly Archives: September 2010

New Members Getting Settled

Laura Cohen

This Fall marks the expansion of the Administrative track at SDSU in the School of Social Work. The Community Development track was designed to match the needs of community organizations who can benefit from having a social worker present but we traditionally left out of the internship placements because they do not have a MSW or LCSW on staff. Places like banks, community development corporations, environmental agencies, hospital clinics and many others applied to be a part of their first year. I am happy to report that we have four students in the first track and they are placed all over San Diego County. Today, I am featuring Laura Cohen. She is at the Linda Vista Library and is working on making connections to resources in the community back to the library. It is my hope that I will be able to bring you updates on the work she and the three others are doing in their respective communities. With that being said, you can find social workers, especially community organizers everywhere!

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Everyone is ‘Going Green’

With the fall 2010 semester beginning at SDSU, another innovative idea was set into motion as a new bike and skateboard lane opened. The space is designated by bright green lines and runs from the Gateway Center building to Hepner Hall. This semester will also mark almost a full year of the Consensus Organizing Center utilizing online publication for our newsletter and our donation request. If you have not updated your contact information to receive our information, feel free to do so by clicking the link provided: http://consensus.sdsu.edu/stay-connected.html  Also, if you have not read our newsletter, please click for our archive http://consensus.sdsu.edu/newsletter.html

Bike lane at SDSU opens

New bike lane at SDSU

A.I.M for Law Kick Off

Re-post from California Western website 

A.I.M. for Law Encourages Diversity in Law Schools, Legal Profession
Joint program with San Diego State University prepares diverse students for law school

– This fall marks the start of A.I.M. for Law, a joint program between California Western School of Law and the Consensus Organizing Center at San Diego State University. The program, targeted at college sophomores, is dedicated to diversifying law schools and the legal profession. 

 A.I.M. for Law
Since the mid-1990s, diversity in the legal field has declined, leading to fewer and fewer legal professionals who mirror the diversity of the clients and communities they represent. 

A.I.M. for Law, which stands for “Achieve. Inspire. Motivate.,” works with sophomores at SDSU to reverse this trend.  

“A.I.M. for Law helps these prospective law students develop a more informed understanding of the process of becoming a lawyer,” says Marion Cloete, Associate Director of Diversity Services.  “It also teaches skills that are directly advantageous to performance on the LSAT, which will be an integral element of their application profile for any law school.” 

The highly selective program offers students the opportunity to meet with practicing attorneys and current law students to learn about preparing for law school. Throughout the semester, program participants meet once a week to study for the Law School Admissions Test, brief legal cases, and learn how to make legal arguments. 

Diversity at California Western
California Western’s mission is to train ethical, competent, and compassionate lawyers who represent our diverse society as principled advocates. A diverse student body helps fulfill this mission and enriches the law school experience. 

“The possibility of enrolling students who were introduced to California Western through A.I.M. for Law is very exciting,” says Cloete.

Commitment to Diversity
California Western’s commitment to diversity can be seen in its programs and scholarships. 

The Street Law Program introduces students from underrepresented communities to legal education and the law through interaction with law students and faculty. It offers students the opportunity to participate in mock trials and to learn more about the law. Additional programs include Law High and the Boyz 2 Men and Montessori Mock Trial programs, which engage students from preschool through high school in various levels of instruction. 

California Western also supports a diverse student body through scholarship programs. The Stephen N. Zack Scholarship – named for the first Latino American President of the American Bar Association – and the Robert J. Grey, Jr. Scholarship – honoring the second African American president of the ABA – reflect a commitment to diversity within the practice of law.

Busy, Busy Busy!

All staff at the Center are working on multiple projects and in many communities. New partnerships have formed and I will be keeping you updated as soon as they develop! We have added ‘Professor’ to two of the staff now teaching to college students; one at SDSU and the other at Cal Western.

Quote about Community

I was rereading ‘Bowling Alone’ by Robert Putnam and came across a theme that I couldn’t let go. He talks a lot about honesty, trust and reciprocity; so much so that he refers to it as lubrication for societal friction.

Let me know what you think:

‘A society that relies on generalized reciprocity is more efficient that a distrustful society . . . Honesty and trust lubricate the inevitable frictions of social life’ (p 135)

He goes on to say that youth today are experiencing more friction in society that older generations. I taught this to a very mixed class (both in age and ethnicity) and they all agreed with this idea.