The events of this year have caused us to pause and reflect on the steps we can actively take to create an environment of inclusion in our Wake County courthouse communities. Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Paul C. Ridgeway has asked the Wake County Bar Association Committee for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and the joint Tenth Judicial District Bar and WCBA Bench Bar Committee to spearhead a Collaborative Forum for Community Engagement to help address blind spots within our court system that prevent equal access to justice, particularly for communities of color.
We hope to hear from many of you about what you have experienced and/or witnessed within our courthouse, whether at clerk’s offices, courtrooms, or through litigant pro se support services. Our goal is to help create a legacy of progress that helps dismantle disadvantages experienced by our varied communities in Wake County. As part of the Forum, we are compiling discussion topics in advance based on both bar and community members’ feedback. Please use our online submission form to make your voice heard. Comments will be collected by Tenth J.D. Bar and WCBA staff and kept anonymous from all bar members and the public.
We will hold our first virtual Collaborative Forum on Wednesday, October 28 at 7:30 a.m. via Zoom. Please take a few moments to read the program outlined below and plan to proactively participate in the discussion. We will compile shared concerns from the above online feedback form and address their main themes at the Forum during the breakout sessions. One hour of ethics CLE credit is pending, and will be free for WCBA members and $35 for non-members
We look forward to your participation to ensure that this program is a tremendous success that provides meaningful outcomes for ending the cultural and systemic forces that sustain inequities in our courthouse communities.
I. Introduction (15 minutes) - Program facilitators address engagement rules of the Forum and highlights of community responses submitted before the Forum.
II. Breakout Sessions (30 minutes) - Group leaders explore and discuss the overarching themes of community responses submitted before the Forum, with participation of community leaders and the public.
III. Call to Action and Debriefing (15 minutes) - Program facilitators address group leaders to outline viable and constructive suggestions, changes, and reforms that were identified in their breakout session.