News & Announcements

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Upcoming Events

National Convening of Court DEI Professionals (By Invitation Only)
November 10-11, 2022

The National Convening of Court Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Professionals is a first-of-its-kind gathering of DEI professionals who work in and for American court systems.


News about diversity and racial justice in the state courts

Vermont Judiciary Establishes Commission on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Vermont Judiciary, September 16, 2022

Vermont's Commission on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will work to identify disparities in the justice system, understand the causes, evaluate solutions, and implement change.


Helping Courts Address Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Judicature, Summer  2022

As the challenges of adjusting to the COVID pandemic ease within state courts, persistent concerns regarding the fairness and equity of these same courts remain. Efforts to address these longer-term issues often have focused on judicial decision-making and legal issues.  Many states have recently moved to hire local or state-level staff dedicated to improving DEI in the courts through newly developed policies and practices.


The Justice Reinvestment Initiative in Action: Analysis Examines Vermont's Racial Equity in Sentencing Outcomes

The Council of State Governments,  June 23, 2022

A recent racial equity in sentencing analysis found that Black people in Vermont are six times more likely than White people to be represented in the sentenced incarcerated population.


'We're not colorblind': Two years after George Floyd, WA Supreme Court tries to chart a different path on race

Seattle Times, June 12, 2022

In the two years since reaffirming its commitment to achieving justice by ending racism, the Washington Supreme Court has made "large and small, symbolic and concrete" efforts to move toward a more just legal system.


Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Criminal Justice System

National Conference of State Legislatures, May 24, 2022

Throughout the nation, people of color are far more likely to enter the nation's justice system than the general population. This article highlights data, reports, state laws, innovations, commissions, approaches and other resources addressing racial and ethnic disparities within our country's justice systems.


New study to engage underserved communities, explore post-pandemic access to justice

National Center for State Courts, May 18, 2022

Through grant funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, NCSC will work directly with community members and stakeholders to identify legal issues that low-income people of color face and how systemic and intersectional disadvantages impact people in their communities following the pandemic.


Justice Lisa Holder White to be first Black woman on Illinois Supreme Court 

Chicago Sun Times, May 10, 2022

Appellate Justice Lisa Holder will become the first Black woman to serve on the state's highest court, succeeding Illinois Supreme Court Justice Rita Garman, who is retiring in July. Justice Holder White was also the first Black judge in both the 6th Judicial Circuit and 4th District Court of Appeals.


State Supreme Courts Are (Slowly) Starting to Look More Like America

Pew Stateline, May 2, 2022

Two months after George Floyd was murdered by police in Minneapolis in May 2020, as protests erupted around the country, the Conference of Chief Justices and the Conference of State Court Administrators adopted a resolution that said structural racism disproportionately affects people of color and erodes public confidence in the fairness of the judicial system.

The resolution led to a 150-member working group of lawyers, judges and officials from legal organizations that is providing guidance for courts, called a Blueprint for Racial Justice.


Maine Senate confirms first Black justice to top state court

Associated Press, April 12, 2022

The Maine Senate has confirmed the appointment of its first Black justice to sit on the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. Judge Rick Lawrence is currently the deputy chief judge of the district court. He will fill a seat that will be vacated by Justice Ellen Gorman, who has announced her intent to retire.


NY Judicial Commission, Buffalo’s PBS Station Launch Online Curriculum Resources on Equal Justice

New York State Unified Court System, March 29, 2022

The Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission announced the launch of digital curriculum resources for middle school through high school educators and students to complement its award-winning documentary, “A Bridge to Justice: The Life of Franklin H. Williams,” examining the life of the trailblazing attorney, civil rights leader and Commission’s namesake.


New road map to improve diversity among Delaware lawyers, judges

WHYY.org, February 23, 2022

Nine months after declaring that racial diversity among judges in Delaware “is inadequate,” Supreme Court Chief Justice Collins J. Seitz Jr. released a strategic plan Tuesday to increase the number of Black and Latino members of the Delaware Bar.

The report highlighted several numbers that illustrate the disparities in Delaware.


States With the Most Racially Diverse Supreme Courts

U.S. News & World Report, February 11, 2022

As the country’s nonwhite population grows, only a handful of states – among them California and New York – have Supreme Courts that reflect this diversity.