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UH Law Center Professor Trujillo inspires high school students through leadership-focused community outreach

The Women of Color in Leadership Forum hosted by St. John's School Unity Council welcomed panelists, from left, Elizabeth Trujillo, Kiran Verma, student Mackenzie Rice, Hélade Scutti-Santos and Brenda Rangel. Photo courtesy of St. John’s School.

The Women of Color in Leadership Forum hosted by St. John's School Unity Council welcomed panelists, from left, Elizabeth Trujillo, Kiran Verma, student Mackenzie Rice, Hélade Scutti-Santos and Brenda Rangel. Photo courtesy of St. John’s School.

June 13, 2023 — University of Houston Law Center Professor Elizabeth Trujillo shared her career experiences and leadership fundamentals with students during the St. John’s School Unity Council Women of Color in Leadership Forum in April.

“Leadership begins with ourselves — with knowing who we are, accepting who we are, and understanding what we are good at,” Trujillo told attendees.

Trujillo is the Mary Ann & Lawrence E. Faust Professor of Law and the Founding Director for the Initiative on Global Law and Policy for the Americas at UH Law Center. She teaches first year Contracts and upper level international economic and business law classes, researching in the areas of trade, decarbonization strategies, and international law. She transitioned from practicing law to academia and emphasized the importance for students to make intentional choices that align with one’s values and aspirations.

“Many people will ask a lot of you when you are talented, and especially as a person of color. You must know when you can say no and say yes to the opportunities that will allow you to contribute the best of yourself,” said Trujillo.

Trujillo added, “Find mentors, connect with others, keep learning, help others be the best versions of themselves, and remain hopeful. In doing so, you will find that you will grow as a leader and find fulfillment in the process.”

The forum’s panel included Houston women leaders in the sciences and the humanities. The women in humanities speakers included:

  1. Elizabeth Trujillo, University of Houston Law Center Professor and Founding Director of the Initiative on Global Law and Policy for the Americas
  2. Kiran Verma, Founder and Executive Chef of Kiran’s, an upscale Indian fusion restaurant
  3. Hélade Scutti-Santos, Director of Language Instruction at Rice University
  4. Dr. Brenda Rangel, Assistant Dean of Rice University Center for Education

The role of the St. John’s School Unity Council Women of Color in Leadership Forum is “to promote an environment of acceptance, equality, and progress within the St. John’s community, to discuss and address any issues that may make a student feel unwelcome in respect to diversity, to provide a safe haven for the diverse community at St. John’s, and to make diversity of all sorts a well-known and well-understood presence in the St. John’s community.”

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