SPRINGFIELD — Western New England University School of Law Dean Sudha Setty has been named 2021 Human Relations Award winner by the National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ), a human-relations organization whose mission is to champion social justice for all; fight bias, bigotry, and racism in all forms; and work toward building strong and inclusive communities.
In a message to Setty notifying her of this honor, NCCJ board member Andrea O’Connor said, “we are so pleased to recognize the excellent work that you’ve been doing at the law school on these issues and proud to honor you with our Human Relations Award.”
Each year, the NCCJ presents the Human Relations Award to individuals or corporations that have actualized in their daily lives the values and mission of the organization. These individuals and companies have demonstrated their commitment to fostering social justice and cooperation among all races, religions, cultures, genders, abilities, and sexual orientations.
“I am humbled and gratified to receive the 2021 Human Relations Award from the National Conference for Community and Justice,” Setty said. “Social-justice lawyering has been a priority at the WNE University School of Law for many years and continues to grow rapidly as we help educate and train even more lawyers doing cutting-edge work. I view the School of Law’s social-justice work as part of the larger efforts that NCCJ has championed for decades. It is essential to meet the challenges of this moment and those that will arise in the future.”
Setty became dean of the School of Law in 2018 and has served on the faculty since 2006. She is the author of National Security Secrecy: Comparative Effects on Democracy and the Rule of Law and the editor of Constitutions, Security, and the Rule of Law, and has written dozens of articles on national-security law and policy. In July 2018, she was elected to membership in the American Law Institute.
Her leadership of the School of Law has been characterized by a commitment to social justice; diversity, equity, and inclusion work; and supporting excellence in teaching, learning, and research. In May 2019, the School of Law founded the Center for Social Justice, which has quickly grown to be a regional hub of research, advocacy, education, and activism. In April 2021, the faculty of the School of Law adopted an anti-racism and cultural-competency graduation requirement, making it the first law school in the region to do so.
Setty is also a founder of the Workshop for Asian-American Women in the Legal Academy, with its inaugural workshop being held in 2021, an effort to support current and aspiring members of the legal academy and to diversify its ranks.
She was recognized on the Lawyers of Color Power List in 2020; was recognized as part of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly’s Top Women in the Law in 2019; was awarded Western New England Law School’s Catherine J. Jones Professor of Year Award in 2009, 2016, and 2018; received the 2017 Tapping Reeve Legal Educator Award from the Connecticut Bar Assoc.; and was recognized in 2015 as a Trailblazer by the South Asian Bar Assoc. of Connecticut.