New Fund to Support Diversity and Social Justice at UConn Law

students wearing Diversity Week T-shirts
Members of the Diversity Committee at the UConn School of Law during the law school’s Diversity Week in 2018.

A new fund, named for the law school’s first Black female graduate, will provide broad support for diversity and social justice initiatives at the UConn School of Law.

The Constance Belton Green Diversity Fund will be available to sponsor and sustain events, scholarships, fellowships for students and faculty, and other programs. It is an integral part of a mission to elevate diversity, equity and belonging at UConn Law in order to strengthen the law school community ​and better serve society, Dean Eboni S. Nelson said.

“The law school is immensely grateful for the creation of the Constance Belton Green Diversity Fund, which will enable us to enhance the excellence of the institution by supporting diversity and social justice scholarships, fellowships, and programs,” Nelson said. “Considering Mrs. Green’s lifelong commitment to equity and diversity and the legacy of opportunity that she helped establish at UConn Law, we are honored and thankful that this transformational fund will bear her name.”

Green graduated from the UConn School of Law in 1972, the first Black woman to do so. Before her enrollment in 1969, only seven Black students, all of them men, had graduated from the law school in its first 48 years of existence. Green subsequently earned a Ph.D. in education, served as chief diversity officer at Eastern Connecticut University, and managed her own consulting firm for more than a decade.

In 2019, she wrote “Still We Rise: African Americans at the University of Connecticut School of Law,” recounting the story of Black students and faculty at the law school through personal narratives and archived documents.

“I am honored to be associated with the Constance Belton Green Diversity Fund,” Green said. “But this is not about me. It is about all of us. It is about the efforts we collectively undertake that promote diversity, race and social justice at UConn Law.”

Contributions to the fund may made through the UConn Foundation website at www.foundation.uconn.edu/fund/constance-belton-green-diversity-fund.

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