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Pepperdine Caruso School of Law Hosts Fourth Annual Belonging Awards

The ceremony recognized students, organizations, staff, faculty, and alumni who champion diversity, inclusion, and belonging in the legal field.



MALIBU, California – Pepperdine Caruso School of Law hosted the fourth annual Belonging Awards on its Malibu campus on March 2, 2024. The ceremony celebrated individual students, student organizations, staff, and faculty who exemplify diversity, inclusion, and belonging at Caruso Law and alumni who promote diversity and belonging in their profession.

“The Belonging Awards has become a key event around diversity and belonging at Caruso Law precisely because it reflects that we value the hard work done by our awardees,” said Dean of Students, Belonging, and Career Development, Chalak Richards Guinses. “Celebrating each other encourages us to continue to build a legal profession where everyone belongs, and our awardees and keynote speaker reminds us that it is possible.”

More than 100 community members, alumni, students, faculty, and staff attended the event at the Lighthouse on Pepperdine’s Malibu campus, which included welcome remarks from Guinses and Pepperdine University vice president for community belonging and chief diversity officer J. Goosby Smith, followed by an invocation by Caruso Law dean, Paul Caron. The keynote address was delivered by the 29th Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court Patricia Guerrero.

2024 Belonging Awards recipients included:

  • Alumnus Award: Danielle Price Sanders (JD '12)
  • Young Alumnus Award: Sarah George (JD '19)
  • Larry D. Kimmons Award: Leon Dixson (JD/MDR '10)
  • Graduate Law Programs Alumnus Award: Rehana Jamal (LLM '22)
  • Faculty Award: Professor Jeffrey R. Baker
  • Staff Award: Michelle Cervantes
  • Student Organization Award: Women’s Legal Association
  • Faith and Justice Award: Keyana Young (JD candidate ‘24)
  • Student Award: Jessica Khalili (JD candidate ‘25)

About Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law

The Caruso School of Law offers a top-ranked legal education with nationally recognized degree programs committed to the highest principles of professional, ethical, and societal responsibility. With an emphasis on experiential learning, mentorship, faculty accessibility, global justice, and professional formation, Pepperdine Caruso Law offers a juris doctorate, two master’s degrees, six joint-degree programs, nine LLM degrees, and five certificate programs. The School of Law houses 10 clinics and five institutes, including the globally recognized Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution. Follow the Caruso School of Law on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

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