College of Law names first inaugural fellows for Racial Justice Initiative


DePaul Newsline

Manoj Mate (left) will serve as the inaugural faculty director and Nathan Fleming (right) will serve as fellow of DePaul Law’s Racial Justice Initiative.

DePaul College of Law named Manoj Mate as DePaul’s first Racial Justice Initiative (RJI) inaugural director on Dec. 15, 2022.

Mate previously worked as the policy advisor for former mayor of San Antonio Julian Castro. He worked with local organizations to collaborate with the mayor’s office, according to Newsline. 

“While government can be a major driver of progress, public-private partnerships involving the community, private sector and nonprofits are critical to the success of transformational change,” Mate said to Newsline. 

The RJI launched in fall 2022 and aims to “bring together students, lawyers, researchers, policymakers and activists to collaborate on community-driven solutions to advance racial justice, specifically in Chicago and Illinois. Working at the nexus of public policy and the legal system, RJI will take an interdisciplinary approach to tackling racial injustice and inequity in policing, housing, economic opportunity, education, health and voting rights,” according to Newsline.

“There is [a] significant need in Chicago for action,” said Julie Lawton, DePaul clinical law professor. “I wanted the initiative to really allow us to do something that would have an effect and not just be further conversation.” 

Nathan Fleming will join the RJI as an inaugural fellow and look for student research fellows in the spring.