On July 23, 2020, the National Association for Presiding Judges and Court Executive Officers presented a webinar about systemic racism in trial courts.
Our nation is hurting. Outcries for racial equality are heard and seen around the globe. Institutional racism and discrimination exist throughout our society, including in justice systems and trial courts. Systemic inequalities and injustices can be manifested either directly or indirectly. All are harmful and unfair. Understanding and identifying systemic racism is an essential first step in eliminating these persistent inequalities and injustices. By identifying these norms and practices, PJs, CEOs, and their leadership teams can begin the process of reform. Equal justice under law
requires it. The dignity of the individual and the legal, civil, and moral equality of all people demands it, whatever the color of someone’s skin.
This 75-minute webinar is the first in a two-part series. It will raise awareness about these issues in trial courts, increase understanding of research that can serve as a framework for reform, and begin a dialogue for change. What is systemic racism and where might it exist in trial courts? Why have we failed to date? How do we identify problem areas? What are courts doing now to mitigate its affects? What is the role of PJs and CEOs in beginning the dialogue and preparing for court reform?
The second webinar on August 20 will offer additional ideas and practical tools to help court leaders act and plan next steps. It will provide PJs, CEOs, and court leadership teams with ideas for critically assessing the court system, listening to and involving court users, justice partners, and stakeholders, and implementing court reform.
Dr. Brenda Wagenknecht-Ivey, CEO, PRAXIS Consulting, Inc., Denver, Colorado
- Hon. Ronald B. Adrine (ret.), Presiding/Admin. Judge, Cleveland Municipal Court, Cuyahoga County
- Russell R. Brown, III, Court Administrator, Cleveland Municipal Court, Cuyahoga County
- Hon. Kevin Burke, Judge, Fourth Judicial District of Minnesota, Hennepin County (Minneapolis)