Touro Law Appoints Director of Diversity and Inclusion

Date: August 13, 2014
Erica Edwards-O’Neal, newly-appointed Director of Diversity and Inclusion at the Touro Law Center
Erica Edwards-O’Neal, newly-appointed Director of Diversity and Inclusion at the Touro Law Center
Media Contact:

Patti Desrochers
Director of Communications
(631) 761-7062

Central Islip, N.Y. – Touro Law Dean Patricia Salkin is pleased to announce that Erica Edwards-O’Neal has been appointed Director of Diversity and Inclusion. In her new role, she will provide leadership and training on matters relating to valuing diversity and cultural competence, and she will assist the dean in guiding the development and implementation of a comprehensive plan focused on embedding effective diversity and inclusion practices for the law school. Edwards-O’Neal will continue in her role as Senior Director of Career Services as well.

“Erica has always played an important role in Touro Law’s diversity employment and pipeline programs and now will be responsible for enhanced programming and the development of a diversity and inclusion plan for the law school in the areas of recruitment, retention and support programs,” said Dean Salkin.

Erica Edwards-O'Neal received her Bachelor of Arts in Government and Politics from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA and her Juris Doctor from Touro Law Center. Prior to joining Touro Law’s Career Services Office in 2003, she served as the Director of a legislative advocacy coalition in Nassau County, where she developed and carried out advocacy strategies related to the Nassau County and New York State Budget process on behalf of Nassau’s youth, mental health, substance abuse and child care agencies and the people they serve. Additionally, as a Legal Mentor and Community Development Liaison with the Time Dollar Organization in Washington, D.C., she was instrumental in the establishment of the District’s first Youth Court Diversion Program. She has also served as an Americorp VISTA volunteer, where she assisted in advocating for housing rights legislation and established a New Home Ownership Program for low-moderate income families.

Ms. Edwards-O’Neal is a member of the Amistad Long Island Black Bar Association, Suffolk County Women's Bar, New York City Bar’s Committee on Recruitment and Retention of Lawyers, The National Bar Association and is a newly appointment member of the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Diversity and Inclusion. She has served on the Boards of several organizations, including Girls Inc., Urban League/Dowling College GEARUP College Preparatory Program, and Suffolk County Community Council.

Edwards-O’Neal has conducted a great deal of research on, provided training in and presented on cultural competence and diversity related matters across the country. She stated, “I look forward to both the challenges and rewards that this new role will bring. Touro Law has always provided an open and inclusive environment and values those from varying backgrounds and identities. I am honored at the opportunity to work with the law school community to continue to enhance our cultural and diversity competence.”