This week, our issue features diversity-themed articles by different students and organizations at Osgoode as it is Diversity Week. Be sure to check out the schedule featured here for all the Diversity Week events. And be sure to check out the winning entries to the Diversity Week contest: “Why Does Diversity Matter?”. Congratulations to Hannah Askew and Terry Wong for their outstanding articles!

Congratulations are also in order for Andrea Hill, who won the Dean for a Day contest with her entry on changes to Osgoode Hall for the short, medium and long term. Her submission can be seen here, along with a submission by an anonymous author who received an honourable mention for their Dean for a Day ideas (seen here). Andrea will be Dean for a Day on Monday, February 13th, 2012.

In this issue, the winning entries, the articles this week on Diversity, and several of the regular features by our staff writers are all about change: changing our world, changing our communities and changing ourselves. Hannah Askew’s essay on “Why Does Diversity Matter?” for example, has us look broadly at diversity in the context of assimilation in relation to Aboriginal Nations. She warns us at the end of her essay that the threat to cultural diversity in Canada and elsewhere should be something that concerns us. She notes that other cultures are just as valuable as our own and we should be grateful to those who have fought to keep cultural diversity alive.

Other pieces this week are more focussed on changing our communities. The Dean for a Day contest entries are focussed on changing our Osgoode community in a positive manner. These esssays reflect practical and pertinent changes that are important to current and future Osgoode students. For example, the anonymous submission focuses on changing Osgoode’s culture by implementing mental health initiatives. Other pieces focus on attempts to change and engage broader communities, like SALSA’s piece on building partnerships outside of the Osgoode community. Additionally, other articles look at changes to the legal community as a whole, such as CDO’s piece on the Legal Leaders for Diversity Initiative.

Finally, articles in this issue talk about changing ourselves. Pieces by our two staff writers, RJ Wallia and Cass Da Re look at changing ourselves in the context of our relationships. Both RJ and Cass Da Re discuss how we can change our own behaviours to make sure that the people who are special in our lives know this. Other pieces continue with the diversity theme and discuss how we can change ourselves to learn to embrace and promote diversity. Terry Wong’s piece discusses embracing understanding, our sameness, and everyone because we are interconnected. Dave Shellnut talks about learning and changing his views as he has grown.

Change is a long, hard road. It’s not easy to change the world, our communities, or ourselves. But speaking out about important issues to encourage change is the first step to making change a reality. And on this note, we at the Obiter Dicta are proud to present you with this edition.

Oh, and Happy Valentine’s Day!