Washington Courts: Press Release Detail
Racial and ethnic fairness in the nation’s courts: National consortium will examine trends and issues during Seattle conferenceApril 23, 2008
The 20th annual meeting of the National Consortium on Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Courts will be held at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel from April 29 to May 2. The meeting is hosted by the Washington State Minority and Justice Commission, which also hosted the group in Seattle ten years ago.
The programs offered include discussion of racial and ethnic bias in America, language interpretation, workforce diversity, offender rehabilitation through human services programs and current trends in law school admissions. Other topics include Latino youth in our society, interaction with tribal courts, a panel on Arab, Muslim and Sikh citizens, and much more. The media is invited to attend all or any part of the conference.
Former Washington Supreme Court Justice Charles Z. Smith was one of the founders and has continuously been an active participant in the Consortium. He served as Moderator for ten years, is now Moderator Emeritus and serves as a member of the Consortium Board of Directors. He has been chairperson of the Washington Commission from its inception in 1987 and now as co-chairperson along with Supreme Court Associate Chief Justice Charles W. Johnson.
According to Justice Johnson, an active participant in the Consortium for many years, these commissions are a necessary vehicle by which we can assist judges and court personnel in providing a better quality of justice by eliminating or preventing racial, ethnic, religious and cultural biases in our courts and promoting equal justice for all persons.
The Washington State Minority and Justice Commission was established by the state Supreme Court initially as a task force in 1987. It was designated a commission by court order in 1990 and renewed every five years currently through the year 2010. The Supreme Court supports the Commission and acknowledges there is a continuing need to identify and eradicate all racial, ethnic, religious and cultural bias from the state court system.
This Consortium meeting is partially subsidized by grants from The Chrysler Foundation and the Microsoft Corporation. For a full list of members and other information on the Washington Commission, visit www.courts.wa.gov, and click on “Boards and Commission.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Monto Shan Morton, executive director of the Minority and Justice Commission, (360) 705-5327 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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