Inaugural director of Jones Center says philanthropy paved the way

Cincinnati Law center bridges theory, practice in race, gender and social matters

In July 2020, University of Cincinnati alumnus Bill Morelli, A&S ’74, JD ’78, gave $200,000 to support a center at the law school focused on race, gender, and social justice.

At the time he made the gift, Morelli said, “I hope this gift can bring together scholars and practitioners in the field to inspire the next generation of lawyers to shape public policy and help build bridges of understanding in the broader community.”

Fast forward to today and Jenn Dye, a 2009 graduate of Cincinnati Law, is serving as the inaugural director of the Nathaniel R. Jones Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice at the UC College of Law, and delivering upon Morelli’s vision.

“We live in a time when issues of race, gender and social justice are more present and essential than ever,” explains Dye. “The Jones Center changes the world, one student at a time – one semester, one class, one program really focusing on those issues and trying to cultivate the next generation of activists, leaders, and scholars.”

The center, named after Judge Nathaniel Jones – a true champion of diversity and inclusion – is known for its ability to bridge theory and practice, forging relationships with local, national, and global communities, and preparing students to become leaders in advancing justice.

Philanthropy plays a huge part in the center’s work. Without it, our reach would be severely limited.

Jenn Dye director of the Nathaniel R. Jones Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice

“I'm looking to take the center in a direction where we form new partnerships and collaborations with community organizations doing this type of work,” Dye says.

Dye’s previous experience as a research associate and director of the Human Services Research & Innovation Center at UC has perfectly prepared her for the task ahead, and she understands it takes a village to effect change.

Philanthropy plays a huge part in the center’s work,” Dye says. “Without it, our reach would be severely limited. It allows us to provide research opportunities, fellowships, and programming. Ultimately, it can help us expand our work and reach a new level.”

Featured image at top:  Judge Nathaniel R. Jones. Photo/Chris Radcliffe/UC Foundation. 

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