I’m not sure why I’m drawn so often to implicit bias sessions, but I seem to gravitate to them often at conferences. I found the recent NASJE Annual Conference session on the topic, taught by NASJE members Dana Bartocci of Minnesota, Cyrana Mott of Illinois, Jennifer Juhler of Iowa, and Joseph Sawyer of the National Judicial College, to be very impactful. What follows is my personal reaction to the session. I won’t try to recreate the entire session or to re-teach it but just highlight the parts that touched me and continue to stay with me.
At the recent 2018 NASJE Annual Conference in Austin, Judge Edward Spillane delivered a session on the humanity of litigants. Judge Spillane is the Presiding Judge for the College Station Municipal Court in Texas. He started his session by explaining that change in a court’s treatment of litigant too often occurs as a result of an unexpected, often catastrophic, series of events such as those in Ferguson, Missouri.
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When the clock hits 5 on the first day of the Annual Conference in Austin, don’t forget to stop by your Regional Meeting before mixing it up at the evening social. Members of the four NASJE Regions gather each year to strengthen the networks in their region and share resources. The four regions are the Midwestern, Northeastern, Southeastern and Western.
Judge Ed Spillane will be presenting a class on The Humanity of Litigants at the 2018 NASJE Annual Conference. Spillane is the Presiding Municipal Judge for College Station, a position he has held since May 2002. Judge Spillane received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University and his law degree from the University of Chicago. He is an active leader in the Texas judiciary, currently representing Texas municipal courts as a member of the Texas Judicial Council, the policy-making body for the state judiciary.
As we move closer to the 2018 NASJE Conference in Austin, I want to share a little a Texas history. The conference hotel – The Hotel Van Zandt – is named after the Van Zandt family – specifically Isaac Van Zandt, an early Texas politician, and his great-great-grandson Townes Van Zandt, a singer songwriter with a long history of addiction and mental health issues.
The 2018 NASJE Austin conference’s theme is Developing Educational Leaders for Today’s Courts and Beyond and our closing plenary session on Wednesday, August 29, will focus on our individual leadership skills as judicial educators. Karen Walrond, a sought-out keynote speaker on topics such as self-empowerment, creativity and innovation, will present Individuality, Courage and Values: The Foundations of Leadership. The course will cover how courage is the prerequisite and amplifier of all leadership development and culture change work and the role that vulnerability and inclusion play in creating a culture of innovation.
If there is any concept that judicial educators can understand, it is the idea of power inequity. We spend much of our time trying to influence powerful people over whom we have very little authority. However, that does not relieve us of responsibility for succeeding in our efforts. Austin counselor Kimberly Key will address the matter of power inequity in her plenary presentation to NASJE.
The documentary film Tomlinson Hill is the story of white and black America as seen through the small Texas town of Marlin located about 100 miles from Austin. The film takes its name from a former Texas slave plantation that was once located in this region. It is also the last name of two descendants from Tomlinson Hill—one black, Loreane Tomlinson, and one white, Chris Tomlinson. Both are featured in the film. In fact, Chris Tomlinson is the film’s producer. The film was directed by Lisa Kaselak.
Howdy y’all! Registration is now open for NASJE’s Annual Conference, which will be held in Austin, Texas, on August 26-29, 2018. The 2018 Conference’s theme is “Developing Educational Leaders for Today’s Courts and Beyond”. We are excited to offer courses…