Minority and Justice Commission
Erica S. Chung
|Myrna I. Contreras|
Ms. Chung opened the discussion by suggesting a general agenda for the phone conference:
In discussing the purpose of the newsletter, Mr. Tsuchida pointed out that the Minority and Justice Commission is broad-based and far reaching, and similar to the ABA Counsel on Racial and Ethnic Justice. Ms. Chung read the target audience of the Outreach sub-committee from the '98 Annual Report, which charges the Outreach sub-committee with establishing a relationship with the legal community and reaching out to the general public. Ms. Contreras indicated she believes the target audience to be the judiciary and also believes that any changes in direction of the newsletter (and the sub-committee) must be brought before the Executive Committee for approval. After general discussion it was agreed that the Outreach sub-committee and the Equal Justice newsletter could definitely be operated within the current stated goals. It was agreed that the audience is primarily the judiciary and associated court personnel, which would include legal personnel. The focus should remain on the State of Washington with consideration for entire region. Specific items of national interest might be included, since the newsletter is distributed nationally.
Ms. Chung reported that her office contacted several courts, Municipal to Court of Appeals, to determine which courts had diversity programs, training or other activities. It appears that, among those contacted, cultural diversity training or awareness programs are not in place. Most courts rely on the Minority and Justice Commission and the Gender and Justice Commission for their programs or training, or participate in County Government human resources departments training. Consequently, basing an issue on diversity training or awareness programs within the courts may yield few positive articles. Also, no state courts are named after any specific persons.
Based on Ms. Chung's report, the group contemplated whether or not to push forward with the current theme "Diversity in the courts" or propose another issue and theme "Justices' reflective", in the interest of time, since the Justices are located in the same building as the Commission. After some discussion, the group decided to persevere with "Diversity in the Courts" as this issue's theme. See "Action Items" for specific actions/responsibilities. Future article or theme to consider is the public survey conducted by the OAC Public Information Office (PIO) on public perceptions of the courts two years ago. PIO is willing to conduct the survey again to measure the progress if there is need.
The group discussed the enormous work involved in producing a newsletter. All agreed enthusiastically that having an extern or intern, who is a journalism, law, or marketing major to oversee the production of the newsletter would be helpful.
The group discussed potential format of the newsletter. The group also decided that eventually all would have to meet to visually peruse the format. The newsletter, as agreed, would not exceed ten pages; preference would be six pages. Individual articles would be limited to 250 to 300 words maximum
Preliminary format (template) discussed:
Teleconference, Thursday, April 19, 4:00 p.m. Need to consider scheduling a meeting and a sub-committee meeting in the very near future.
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