WEBINAR: Meaningful Strategies to Combat Systemic Racism in Trial Courts – Part III

This is the third in a series of webinars on combating systemic racism in trial courts. It was held on September 24, 2020.

Part I (July) established an awareness that all U.S. organizations, including trial courts, have baked within their policies, practices, and norms inequities that disadvantage people of color.

Part II (August) emphasized the many facets of the problem aside from criminal justice, including fines, fees, jury service, civil justice, case flow delay; self-represented litigants, and on and on.

This webinar takes the next step. It centers on action plans and lessons learned by two court systems – Massachusetts and Oregon – in their efforts to tackle racism in their justice systems. Both states are at different points in their work and each brings a distinctive perspective to the challenge.

This 75-minute Webinar (Part III) provides court leadership teams with practical advice and resources to identify and combat internal trial court practices that disadvantage people of color.

Topics for discussion include:

  • Leaders and leadership teams must be “all-in’ as a long-term, driving force for systemic change
  • Community outreach involves active listening, understanding, and elevating the voices of people of color.
  • Consistency in thought, word and deed by all judges and staff throughout each workplace is critical.
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion is an umbrella, overarching philosophy (“way of life”) in all programs.
  • Action to reduce and dislodge systemic racism need not wait until the pandemic ends. It can begin now.


  • Gordon Griller, Executive Director, NAPCO


  • Hon. Paula Carey, Chief Justice, Massachusetts Trial Court
  • Hon. Julie J. Bernard, Associate Justice, Massachusetts Trial Court
  • John Laing, Chief Experience and Diversity Officer, Massachusetts Trial Court
  • Hon. Adrienne Nelson, Associate Justice, Oregon Supreme Court
  • Valerie Colas, Access to Justice Counsel, Oregon Judicial Department
  • Susan Sturm, Director, Center for Institutional & Social Change, Columbia Law School


Massachusetts Trial Court Systemic Racism Materials

Oregon Systemic Racism Materials