NASJE Participates in the 2024 Racial Justice Education Workshop

As part of ongoing work under the Conference of Chief Justices (CCJ), Conference of State Court Administrators (COSCA), and National Center for State Courts’ (NCSC) Blueprint for Racial Justice initiative, 16 states’ Judicial Educators, Judges, and Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Directors were invited to participate in the first of, I hope many, workshops on improving racial justice education in the courts. NASJE was fully represented in this first-of-its-kind judicial education capacity-building workshop. The workshop was held in Phoenix, Arizona, on April 29-30, 2024, and was supported by a grant from the State Justice Institute (SJI). Our current president, Jeff Schrade, was, as always, an impeccable host and his team and location gave us all the room and capacity to build, learn, and listen. Our very own, Juli Edwards-McDaniel poised each group to participate in sessions geared to:

  • Discuss next steps to advance DEI/racial justice education in their state;
  • Obtain tools for having racial justice education conversations with key stake holders and participants;
  • Develop networking relationships with other participants;
  • Increase the effectiveness of their racial justice education teams;
  • Utilize best practices for development and implementation of racial justice education; and
  • Explain the importance of evaluating the effectiveness of racial justice educational programs.

Of course, NASJE was fully present to participate in a World Café and discuss Best Practices for Facilitating Courageous Conversations. And there was not much left unsaid as we presented our roles in advancing the DEI initiatives in our respective states, particularly, Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, The District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, and Washington. As the collaboration increased the learning expanded to Using Art to Teach Empathic Thinking and Implicit Bias Awareness, which may be a topic at NASJE’s 2024 Annual conference in Tempe. The concluding wrap -up session led by 2 NASJE elites, Princess Darnell and Rob Love left all of us wanting more but able to Build and Sustaining the Capacity to do this Work. This workshop gave each of us inspiration and courage to continue this work in our state courts, with NASJE, and our partners in the DEI role, fully supported by the National Center for State Courts Blueprint for Racial Justice.

Special thanks to Edwin Bell, Jennifer Elek, Margaret Allen Hoyt, John Meeks, Juli Edwards-McDaniel, and Karla Pappas for supporting this amazing initiative and continuing this conversation across state lines.

NASJE members attend racial injustice workshop
NASJE members in attendance were: (top row left to right) John Meeks (NCSC); Rob Love (IN); Janice Calvi-Ruimerman (CT); Dana Bartocci (MN); Princess Darnell (IN); Christine Christopherson (SC); Darren Breslin (PA); Susan Love (MN); (bottom row left to right) Allison Gallo (DE); Edwin Bell (NCSC); Juli Edwards-McDaniel; Margaret Allen Hoyt; NASJE members present but not in the picture were also Scott Hillstrom (WA); and Jeff Schrade (AZ)