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Sixteen state courts participate in groundbreaking workshop for racial justice education

Sixteen state courts participate in groundbreaking workshop for racial justice education

June 12, 2024 -- Sixteen teams of judges, judicial educators, and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) directors participated in a racial justice capacity-building education workshop earlier this year in Arizona, gaining valuable tools and best practices for developing and facilitating productive training initiatives.

"The workshop fostered collaboration," explained Juli Edwards-McDaniel, curriculum developer with NCSC's Education and Professional Development Group. "By including all three roles from each state, our goal was to strengthen their ability to work together on racial justice education."

This pioneering workshop is one of many ongoing efforts by the Conference of Chief Justices, the Conference of State Court Administrators, and the Blueprint for Racial Justice initiative, which are aimed at assisting courts in advancing productive education efforts in this important learning area.

Equipping courts with knowledge

Court teams dedicated two days to learning, sharing experiences and insights, and building networks.

The workshop focused on equipping teams with the knowledge to maximize the impact of their racial justice education efforts. Learning objectives included increasing team effectiveness, utilizing best practices, and evaluating the effectiveness of educational programs.

Plenary and breakout sessions discussed DEI initiatives in courts, as well as the use of art to cultivate empathetic thinking. Teams also honed their facilitation skills through role-playing exercises.

"The workshop was beyond expectation,” said Janice Calvi-Ruimerman, director of Employee Education and Development for the Connecticut Judicial Branch. “Every session resonated with the central theme: 'How can we help?' The National Center for State Courts assembled an incredible program filled with amazing people I'm now proud to call friends.”

Building courage for conversations

The workshop's emphasis on team building empowered participants to champion positive change and promote effective communication in a court learning environment.

"Many left with the ability to initiate courageous conversations within their court communities," noted Edwards-McDaniel. "At the very least, they're now equipped to discuss the types of conversations that are needed."

Racial justice resources

NCSC and Blueprint working groups created a Racial Justice Resource Center with webinars, toolkits, and self-assessment tools to help courts evaluate their racial justice practices.

Visit to learn more.

RRT releases new guidance to help courts navigate AI use

NCSC’s AI Rapid Response Team has released new interim guidance to assist courts in navigating artificial intelligence use and technologies.

The Developing an Internal AI Use Policy emphasizes the importance of establishing a governance working group, conducting self-assessments, and developing policies.

The interim guidance on Judicial and Legal Ethics Issues addresses ethical issues related to using AI in the legal profession, specifically focusing on the implications for judicial officers and attorneys.

Visit the AI RRT resource center for interim guidance and for current information and resources for both state and federal courts.