Leveling the Scales of Justice: Developing an Action Blueprint to Further Racial Justice in and by the Courts (known as the Blueprint for Racial Justice Initiative)
The Conference of Chief Justices (CCJ) and Conference of State Court Administrators (COSCA) issued a resolution in 2020 that called on courts to ‘intensify efforts to combat racial prejudice within the justice system… and to recommit to examine what systemic change is needed to make equality under the law an enduring reality for all.” What followed was the creation of the Blueprint for Racial Justice initiative (Blueprint). Led by a steering committee of members from CCJ and COSCA, staffed by the National Center for State Courts (NCSC), and supported with funding from the State Justice Institute, the Blueprint is a national community of court professionals from around the country committed to ensuring “justice is not only fair to all but also is recognized by all to be fair.” To date, the Blueprint has produced over 50 resources (toolkits, webinars, papers, and more) to support efforts to promote access, fairness, and equal justice in the state courts through leadership, education, community engagement, data analysis, and improved court services. All resources are housed in NCSC’s Racial Justice Resource Center and include the self-service Racial Justice Organizational Assessment Tool for Courts (see story for more); a national state court internship, externship, and clerkship job application portal called CORA (see story); guiding principles for systemic change and a Directory of Systemic Change Initiatives; and peer network of court diversity, equity, and inclusion professionals across the country (see story). For more information, contact Edwin Bell (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Dr. Jennifer Elek (email@example.com).