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Diversity Initiative Launched with Gift from Alphonzo Grant '98 and Isis Sapp-Grant

02/11/2022
Alphonzo Grant, Jr., ’98, and his wife, Isis Sapp-Grant, have established the Sapp-Grant Diversity Recruitment Fund to expand diversity and inclusion at Brooklyn Law School and enhance opportunities and support for students to succeed during law school and in their careers.

“Our hope is that the Fund will enable Brooklyn Law School to better compete for these talented diverse individuals with law schools that have a university behind them, and therefore the ability to supply room and board and other related expenses,” Grant said.

The Grants’ generous gift of $30,000 over three years will provide financial support for students who face not only the cost of tuition but also the challenge of affording housing, books, computers, and other living expenses.

“Latinx and African American students are underrepresented, and we want to do everything we can, not just to change the Law School community but also to create change within the greater profession. Alphonzo embodies that commitment,” said Dean Michael T. Cahill.

The Sapp-Grant Diversity Recruitment Fund is the newest addition to the Law School’s 26 diversity scholarship and student support funds. Recent gifts include the establishment of the Gregory S. Katz Diversity Student Support Fund, the Ernest S. Katz Opportunity Scholarship, the Arthur A. Riegel Endowed Scholarship, the Wanda Denson-Low, Esq. ’81 and Ronald Low Family Diversity Scholarship, and the Mary Johnson Lowe ’54 Scholarship.

“These support funds and scholarships—along with programs like Academic Success, recruitment outreach to Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and the pipeline program of outreach to elementary and junior high school students—combine to create greater opportunity and success,” said Dean of Admissions Eulas Boyd. “It is imperative that we continue to invest in these important resources.”

Grant, currently a Managing Director at Morgan Stanley, is a longtime supporter of the Law School and advocate for civil rights, diversity, and inclusion in the law and beyond. He was previously a Litigation Special Counsel and the Director of Diversity Initiatives at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP and a Commissioner on the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board. He previously served as a member of the New York City Bar Association’s Enhance Diversity in the Profession Committee. Isis Sapp-Grant, a social justice advocate and consultant, is the founder and former Executive Director of the Youth Empowerment Mission and its award winning “Blossom Program for Girls.”

Inspiration for the Diversity Recruitment Fund also stemmed from Grant’s own experiences at the Law School and benefiting from the resources it provided. “I had the ability to attend law school in the evening during my first semester, when I was working full time,” he said. “I was then awarded a scholarship. Taking the summer Legal Process class with Professors Linda Feldman and Carol Ziegler was just what I needed. It set the right tone for me academically. That support and guidance were critical to me in being successful at law school and in my career.”

Grant also remembers a “life-changing mentorship” in law school by then adjunct professor William Kuntz, who now serves as a U.S. District Court Judge for the Eastern District of New York. Today, Grant carries on that tradition, mentoring members of the Black Law Students Association and Latin American Law Students Association.

“I am simply passing on the wisdom and guidance I received during my career journey,” he said.