On November 14, the Santa Clara Law community came together to celebrate and recognize the importance of diversity and inclusion. Now in its 15th year, the Diversity and Inclusion Gala directly supports the Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights scholarship for students, and the event attracts generous support from law firms and organizations from across the country. This year, the event honored Judge Shelyna Brown JD ’96 with the Social Justice and Human Rights Award, and the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley with the Organization of the Year Award.

During her acceptance speech, Judge Brown shared that, as a young woman from Fresno, her perspective on what was possible expanded when she heard Judge Risë Jones Pichon JD ’76 speak at Santa Clara Law. Brown encouraged first-year law students to keep going and know that they can make it. She also urged graduates to help as role models for future generations.

Molly Brennan JD ’09, who accepted the award on behalf of the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, is a senior attorney at the Foundation, where she has spent the last ten years with their Mental Health Advocacy Project (MHAP) providing services to people with mental health and developmental disabilities.

This year, Santa Clara Law students Farouq Ghazzawi, Marili Iturbe Guadarrama, Victor Valdez Gonzalez, and Nahzaneen Yasin were selected for the Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights scholarship. The scholarship is directly supported by our Gala sponsors: Schwegman Lundberg & Woessner, Cooley LLP, Morgan Lewis, Judge Risë Pichon, Dorian Daley & Michael Krautkramer, Duane Morris, McManis Faulkner, Hopkins Carley, Pillsbury, Ebay, Fenwick & West, Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear LLP, Morrison & Foerster LLP, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP, Iron Mountain, Laughlin, Falbo Levy & Moresi, Themis Bar Review LLC, County of Santa Clara Public Defender’s Office, Practising Law Institute, Skip Horne & Andy Ceperley, Sarah Marinho, Dmitry Stadlin, and Deborah Moss West.