Minority and Justice Commission
Outreach Sub-committee Telephone Conference
November 8, 2001
12:15 – 1:15pm
In attendance: Myrna I. Contreras, Brian Tsuchida, Judge M. Karlynn Haberly, Judge Philip J. Thompson, Ms. Erica S. Chung, (note-taking, Pam Miller)
Brian Tsuchida opened the meeting by reviewing the seven agenda items to be covered in the meeting:
A. Sub-committee Member Follow-up on Assigned Minority Bar Association
Mr. Tsuchida reported that he had contacted the Filipino American Legal Association of Washington and found him non-responsive in filling out the questionnaire. Mr. Tsuchida will continue to follow up with Jesie R. Castro.
Judge Thompson and Judge Haberly stated that they were unsure of the process whether sub-committee member would interview the assigned bar association representative and complete the questionnaire for them or just follow up. Ms. Chung indicated both methods are acceptable and member should choose preference. Request for contact information. Judge Thompson indicated he would contact the Loren Miller Bar Association. Judge Haberly indicated that she would contact the Asian Bar Association of Washington.
Ms. Contreras reported that she had contacted the Pierce County Minority Bar Association and they agreed to participate.
Ms. Chung reported that she had left several messages for the contact at the National Conference of Black Lawyers but had had no response as yet. She will continue the follow up. Ms. Chung also reported that her secretary had been in touch with the Jack E. Tanner Bar Association and that they were willing to participate. Also, although the questionnaire return deadline is tomorrow, no questionnaires had been received as yet.
Ms. Mary Alice Theiler indicated via e-mailed that she had contacted the Washington State Bar Association’s (WSBA) Committee for Diversity and they were willing to participate.
Judge Dennis D. Yule called Ms. Chung and reported that he had been in contact with the Hispanic Bar Association and that they would mail their response in next week.
Judge McDermott indicated via e-mail that he would follow up with the Korean American Bar Association.
B. Person to Highlight/Profile for the Next Newsletter
Ms. Contreras suggested an AOC Court Facilitator who might be a good subject; Ms. Contreras will follow up with her for this issue. Judge Thompson suggested Raymond Reyes who heads up the Human Rights Division at Gonzaga University; Judge Thompson will follow up with him for the next issue.
C. Possible Themes for Future Issues
Ms. Chung asked the sub-committee to review possible themes for next year’s newsletter and asked them to choose the four they most would like to feature. The themes included:
“A Tribute to Justice Smith”
“Young Lawyers of Color Perspective”
“Cultural Diversity and the Effect on Legal Education After I-200”
“Minority Youth in the Justice system”
“The Commission, Then and Now”
“Racial and Ethnic Bias for Recent Immigrants of Color”
“The Supreme Court Speaks”
Ms. Contreras suggested that all sub-committee members should have input on deciding and suggesting themes. The two themes that the sub-committee tentatively chose are “The Supreme Court Speaks” for the January 2002 issue and “A Tribute to Justice Smith” for the fall 2002 issue.
It was suggested that specific questions should be posed to give the Supreme Court Justices some direction as to expectation, such as length and topic. Length should be between 250 to 500 words. Questions to address could include:
When did they first became aware of diversity issues?
What, if any, is their personal experience with racial and ethnic issues?
Comparisons of “then and now”
What the justices would like to see happen to generate change?
Was there a significant moment – an epiphany – when they became aware of cultural/racial disparity?
Mr. Tsuchida indicated that he would call the law schools at Seattle University and University of Washington to determine if they have cultural diversity curriculum requirements. This may be a worthy topic to explore for future issue of Equal Justice.
Ms. Chung strongly requested that the sub-committee members submit potential themes and ideas for articles.
D. Lawyer and Judicial Demographic Survey/Statistics
Ms. Chung reported that she had obtained the demographic statistics on lawyers from WSBA. There are currently 22,477 active members of the WSBA. The WSBA collects demographic information upon admission to the bar or during bar renewal. Mr. Tsuchida suggested, and other members agreed, that a summary of the WSBA demographic data be included in the upcoming issue to complement the Minority Bar Association information.
The sub-committee discussed the issue of a judicial demographic survey and agreed that the data, if compiled in a timely manner, would complement the articles in the “The Supreme Court Speaks” issue, particularly if it included data such as whether the judge was appointed or elected and length of time on the bench. Judge Haberly suggested that Ms. Chung speak with Judge Fleck, President elect of SCJA, to determine if they might be interested in initiating such a survey. Judge Thompson suggested potential interest from BJA.
E. September Newsletter Issue Costs
Ms. Chung reported that 2300 copies of the September newsletter were printed. Approximately 400 were sent via campus mail and 1500 were mailed at 25.3¢ per issue, totaling $379.50. Total printing and mailing cost were $1279.50.
Ms. Chung reported that Outreach sub-committee budget for this fiscal year is $6295, with the expectation of producing and distribution at least three issues of Equal Justice.
F. Project Proposal for the Research Sub-committee
The sub-committee discussed proposals for Research Sub-committee projects, specifically:
1. Depending on the SCJA willingness to conduct a judicial demographic survey, perhaps the Research sub-committee would be responsible for conducting (or arranging with a third party to conduct) a survey of judicial ethnicity and demographics.
2. A national survey/study of all secondary schools to determine cultural diversity curriculums
Next Outreach Sub-committee Meeting
It was decided to set a conference call meeting for Thursday, November 29 from 12:15 to 1:15pm.
A. Ms. Chung will e-mail all Outreach Sub-committee members and ask them to follow up with their Minority Bar Association contact and request their responses by November 16.
B. Ms. Chung will e-mail other Outreach sub-committee members to set the next conference call meeting and to ask for their ideas and input on newsletter themes and possible research projects
C. Ms. Chung will discuss with Judge Fleck the possibility of the SCJA-
sponsored judicial demographic survey.
D. Mr. Tsuchida will call the University of Washington and Seattle University Law Schools to determine cultural diversity class requirements, if any.