Alumni Blog

Advocating for Social Justice

Posted by Seattle University Alumni Association on May 1, 2018 at 12:05 PM PDT

In honor of our law students who will be graduating next weekend, May 12, we wanted to highlight the amazing work our law alumni do in the community and welcome the law class of 2018 to the Seattle University Alumni Association. One such outstanding alum is, Fe Lopez, JD, '06

Fe Lopez Coral Dress

The granddaughter of Mexican immigrants, Fé Lopez grew-up in Eastern Washington witnessing the discrimination endured by her American-born parents. Their agricultural worker status and Spanish accents drew racial epithets and humiliations.

“What you see happen to your family impacts you,” she says. “It inspired me to become a lawyer and fight for social justice.”

After earning her bachelor’s degree in social sciences with a minor in criminal justice, Lopez began researching law schools. She learned about the Seattle University School of Law Academic Resource Center (ARC), which administers the Access Admission Program, and decided to apply.

“As an undergrad, I was once told by an academic counselor that law school isn’t for ‘people like me.’ I was devastated, but it only intensified my determination to succeed. Seattle U’s Access Admission Program is for passionate, driven people who lack opportunity. By providing access, ARC is helping to diversify the legal community.”

The Access Admission Program recognizes promising law school applicants from historically disadvantaged and underrepresented communities who don’t meet the traditional statistical requirements for regular admission (LSAT score and undergraduate GPA). ARC supports these students throughout their law school experience, offering the guidance and academic skill instruction to help them find success in school, the bar exam and their legal careers.

Lopez was accepted to six of the 10 law schools she applied to, including Seattle University as an Access Admission scholar.

Throughout law school, Lopez’ passion for social justice continued to grow and the professional connections she made began to open doors. She became involved with the Student Bar Association, rising to the position of president in her 3L year—the first Latina to hold that office. Lopez also volunteered with several social justice-inspired organizations.

Her involvement in the Latina/o Bar Association of Washington (LBAW) began while she was a student and continued after graduation. As LBAW president, she and other minority bar and community leaders advocated for greater police accountability. In 2014, Lopez was appointed by Mayor Ed Murray to the position of executive director of the Seattle Community Police Commission (CPC), a position she holds today. The CPC directly engages with community members who are negatively and disproportionately impacted by policing. Additionally, the commission advocates for systemic change to the Seattle Police Department’s policies and practices to help build trust and strengthen community-police relations.


Exploring Women's Empowerment As Part of the #MeToo Movement

Posted by Caitlin Joyce, '11, '18 on April 30, 2018 at 4:04 PM PDT

The Women of SU Alumni Chapter is known by many alumnae for their popular Connection Café series. The series covers topics ranging from professional development to issues of concern for Seattle University’s community of women.

The group’s next Connection Café on May 10 is focused on women’s empowerment and the #MeToo movement, featuring a storyslam format. We spoke to Keisha Jackson, ‘14, the Women of SU’s education chair, to learn more about this timely topic.

Keisha, also a commissioner with the Seattle Women’s Commission, saw the Women of SU platform as an opportunity for partnership. The Seattle Women’s Commission had expressed a desire to host an event in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, taking place in April.

“The Women of SU event seemed like the perfect combination, to be able to utilize the networks of the City of Seattle and to reach a broader audience with our Women of SU programming.” Because the Connection Café takes place near the end of the academic year, the Women of SU are also inviting senior women to attend. “The seniors will be there and this topic is very relevant to them and all women given the political and social climate,” Keisha said, adding that women are invited to bring their children to this event if the topic is one want they want to explore with their children.

The event will kick off with the evening’s confirmed speakers, including Jaqueline Garcia, the founder of Mujer Al Volante and Circulo De Mama Seattle, Heidi Happonen, a PR industry leader, Sarah Toce, principal owner and Editor-in-Chief of The Seattle Lesbian, Katrina M. Sanford, PsyD, Co-chair of the Seattle LGBTQ Commission, LaTanya Horace, founder of The Silent Task Force, and Seattle University senior, Haleema Bharoocha, '18, Director of the Gender Justice Center at Seattle U.

"I am honored and humbled to offer my insight and experience toward this worthwhile event,” event speaker Sarah Toce shared, adding, "When I ruminate over the kind of world I want to one day leave my daughter, that propels me to work harder building bridges in order to connect communities. Sharing our stories as women is not always an easy task, but it's a mandatory one should we desire to see change in our lifetime. I am proud to be in the company of such esteemed women - and I look forward to seeing everyone."

Haleema Bharoocha shared that she is excited for the opportunity to speak at this event and hopes to see a strong turnout from a diverse audience, including those who don’t normally get involved, saying that, “Stories are a form of information sharing that my ancestors used to pass down important information and convey feelings. Even more, stories make people feel something. They call people to action. Sharing my story is incredibly important since Muslim women of color are so often left out of the conversation. I hope that by sharing my story, I inspire others to share theirs. Bringing marginalized perspectives to the mainstream conversation and let others who cannot speak know that they are not alone.”

Following the confirmed speakers, the evening will transition into an open mic. “Women will have 5-7 minutes to share a personal story or a story of the work they do. The story can be in whatever format women feel called to express themselves in. It’s freeform,” Keisha said, adding that everyone is welcome, even if they wish to listen and not share their stories. “If you choose to show up, no one is going to insist you speak on your life experience. You can just listen and experience the stories being told.”
You can reserve your spot at the Women’s Empowerment Connection Café below.

Seattle Women’s Empowerment Story Slam: #TimesUp
Presented in partnership with the City of Seattle Women’s Commission
Thursday, May 10, 2018
6:30– 8:30 p.m.
Seattle University Student Center 160, LeRoux Room
Get Tickets