On March 11, 2021, the Commission held Part 2 of our continuing dialogue on systemic racism and bias in the courts, providing those who attended to actively participate by directing questions to panelists. The entire Town Hall was dedicated to questions and answers from the attendees.
The Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission, which is celebrating its Thirtieth Anniversary this year as a permanent commission in the New York State court system promoting racial and ethnic fairness in the courts, held a recent Town Hall to provide the court family an opportunity to engage in honest and meaningful dialogue with the goal of eradicating systemic racism and bias from our court system, discuss the implementation of the recommendations in Secretary Johnson’s Report, address issues faced by members of the court system and find possible solutions to those issues. Professor Deborah N. Archer, Professor of Clinical Law and Co-Faculty Director of the Center on Race Inequality and the Law at New York University School of Law, and a nationally recognized expert in civil rights and racial justice, served as the Town Hall’s keynote speaker.
Hate is a Virus Too
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New York, NY 10004
To communicate concerns respecting diversity, racial and ethnic fairness within the court system to the Commission, please feel free to email us at email@example.com.
Please be further advised that in order to file a complaint of bias or discrimination, you must contact the Inspector General - Office of the Managing Inspector General for Bias Matters at 646-386-3507, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website at http://ww2.nycourts.gov/admin/ig/index.shtml
The Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission educates and advises decision makers in the New York Court System on issues affecting both employees and litigants of color, and implements recommendations developed to address said issues.
Created in 1988, the New York State Judicial Commission on Minorities (now known as the Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission) conducted a comprehensive study on minority participation in the courts and legal profession and perceptions regarding the treatment of minorities in the courts. In 1991, the Commission released a detailed report of findings and recommendations and was established as a permanent entity charged with the responsibility for developing programs to improve the perception of fairness within the court system and to ensure equal justice in New York State. The members of the Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission are judges, lawyers and court administrators all appointed by the Chief Judge of the State of New York.
The Work Continues
The Commission continues its pursuit of equal justice:
- Serving as a conduit to persons of color within the court system, meeting annually with the Chief Judge and court administrators to discuss issues of concern to court employees and matters pertaining to racial and ethnic fairness in the courts.
- Sponsoring seminars and conferences for Judges and court personnel on issues of diversity and race within the courts.
- Holding professional development and leadership workshops for court personnel and providing judicial mentors for attorneys interested in judicial appointments
- Acting as a liaison to community groups, fraternal organizations within the court, bar associations and judicial appointing authorities.
- Producing and distributing various publications, including a newsletter.
- Hosting the Diversity Awards program honoring individuals and organizations working to promote racial and ethnic fairness in the New York State Unified Court System and the legal community.
- Presenting a class for new judges on cultural awareness at the New York State Judicial Institute training session for new judges.
Meet the New Executive Director
Mary Lynn Nicolas-Brewster was recently named as the new executive director of the Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission, succeeding Joyce Y. Hartsfield. She most recently worked as a court attorney-referee in the Ninth Judicial District.
Chief Judge Janet DiFiore with Hon. Richard B. Lowe III, Past Chair of the Commission.
Former Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman with Hon. Rose H. Sconiers, Past Chair of the Commission
Former Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye with Hon. Lewis Douglass (Past Chair of the Commission)
Franklin H. Williams appearing at the Court of Appeals on behalf of the New York State Commission on Minorities.
The Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission invites you to follow us on Twitter @NYCourtsFHW