Over the last forty years, our nation’s courts have been committed to diversity and inclusion, in order to live up to the ideals of fairness and equality, and to build public trust and confidence. While we can point to many improvements, there is still much work to be done.
The lessons learned from diversity and inclusion practices point to benefits beyond just furthering the institutional values of fairness, equity, impartiality, trust, and accountability. They also improve decision-making, innovation, resiliency, responsiveness, employee engagement, and delivery of services.
Institutions like courts today are challenged by the spread of global pandemics, the demand for more access, the desire for more equitable outcomes, and the erosion of public trust and confidence in government.
Diversity and inclusion should be at the forefront to harness new solutions and to turn challenges into opportunities. What can we do to strengthen our institutional values and apply concrete diversity and inclusion practices to the problems we face today? What advice do we have for court administrators and clerks of court around the country dealing with these issues on a daily basis?
About the Co-Host:
Zenell Brown Zenell Brown, Executive Court Administrator for the Third Circuit Court in Detroit, Michigan. She received her Juris Doctor from Wayne State University Law School; received a Public Service Administration Graduate Certificate from Central Michigan University; a Court Administration Certificate from Michigan State University; and is a Certified Diversity Professional from the National Diversity Council-DiversityFirst.
About the Panelists:
Marcia M. Anderson recently retired as Clerk of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Wisconsin. She was employed for over 28 years with the United States Courts, serving an Operations Manager and later as the Supervisory Staff Attorney for the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City.
Hector Gonzalez is the Court Executive Officer for the Superior Court in Tuolumne County, California. He was born and raised in Los Angeles. He is bilingual, speaking both Spanish and English. Hector received a certificate in Judicial Administration from Cal State, Sacramento. He has a law degree from University of California-Hasting College of the Law and a BA from Loyola Marymount University.
Norman Meyer retired after serving for 38 years as a court administrator in both the state and Federal systems. Most recently, he was Clerk of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Mexico. He is a court administration expert after a 38 year career as a trial court administrator in the state and federal U.S. courts. He has written and spoken widely on judicial administration in the United States and abroad, and is currently writing a court management blog (https://courtleader.net/vantage-point) as a member of the nonprofit Court Leader coalition.
Jose Octavio Guillen retired in 2017 after working for 42 years in the California Justice System. He served as court executive officer and Jury Commissioner for the Superior Courts in Sonoma, Napa, Riverside, and Imperial Counties, as well as, served as court administrator for Beverly Hills Municipal Court, district chief for Los Angeles Superior Court, trial court services director for the California Administrative Office of the Courts, and deputy sheriff for Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
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