Seton Hall Law’s Diversity Officer
As Diversity Officer at Seton Hall, Malikah Fulton’s responsibilities are two-fold: she serves as both an admissions officer and a student services counselor.
For the Admissions office, Fulton is often on the road, inviting students to learn more about Seton Hall Law. “I attend many of the historical black college events as well as many other events that target minority students in an effort to educate them about all that we have to offer,” she explains.
As a student services counselor, she acts as an advocate and advises on programming for several Seton Hall Law student organizations including the Black Law Students Association (BLSA), the Latin-American Law Students Association (LALSA), the Asian-Pacific American Law Students Association (APALSA), the Lambda Law Forum, and the Muslim Law Student Society. “I help the organizations with their student events and planning and offer academic and career advice, as well as advice about any other issues they many have regarding diversity in and outside of the classroom,” she says.
Most recently, Fulton worked to coordinate a screening and panel discussion of the documentary film, Moral Panic: More Heat Than Light. Moral Panic is a 30-minute film that deals with the gangs throughout Newark and other parts of Essex County, as well as prisoner reentry.
The event, which will be held on October 19 at 5 p.m. in the Faculty Library, is co-sponsored by The Dean’s Diversity Council along with the Center for Social Justice, BLSA, LALSA, the Criminal Law Society and the Urban Education Law Policy Initiative.
“Dorothea Harris of the Student Services office, and a member of the Dean’s Diversity Council, spearheaded this effort. She suggested that we screen this movie as a change of pace from the events that we usually hold,” Fulton says. “The film’s director, Akintola Hanif, is also a photographer who uses his images of homeless and marginalized people in our Newark neighborhood to bring their situation to the forefront of our attention. We walk by these people everyday and never give them a second glance. The film is a call to action to improve the area in which we live and work.”
“The film also aims at breaking stereotypes many of us have about gangs and gang members. Many of us associate gangs with violence but some people join them out of necessity. Very often these people have no other family, so they build a network of people who have supported and guided them,” she continues. “These people are not violent or involved in criminal activity, but have joined together to create a family for themselves.”
After the film there will be a panel discussion featuring Professor Shavar Jeffries of the Seton Hall Law Center for Social Justice; Councilman Ronald Rice, Jr. of the Newark Municipal Council; Akintola Hanif, Director, Founder, Editor & Chief of HYCIDE Magazine; Rick Greenberg, Producer; Dr. Scott Nolen, Equal Justice Director, The Institute for Social Justice; and Jody Pittman, (SOS) Saving Ourselves.
“The panel will talk about the aspects of the film and how we as a society need to stop ignoring this segment and look to help in any way that we can,” says Fulton. “Very often, these people are in and out of jail, and if they have no support or cannot find jobs when they are released, they may turn to criminal activity because they have no other way to support themselves or their families. By raising awareness of this situation, we are hoping to inspire our attendees to come up with creative ideas to help solve this problem."
"The event is truly a multi-media presentation. During the event Akintola Hanif will also display his art as well – photographs of gang members, the homeless – people who we tend to avoid or ignore,” Fulton says. “As lawyers and members of the legal community, it is very easy for us to fall into the trap and look at this situation from a clinical perspective. But there are things we are going to miss if we make assumptions about the community. With this event, we are hoping to inspire our students to think about all the things they can do to start making a difference right here at home.”