Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion as Pillars of Justice For Courts

Subject Matter Experts:

Dorothy Howell


Norman Meyer, MSJA

Michael Yuen


How do we provide meaningful access to justice to a more diverse community? Why is our system of justice important in the lives of those who bring their disputes to the court and the community as a whole? How do we demonstrate respect, dignity, compassion, fairness, and equity in everything we say, think, or do to engender public trust and confidence? How do we balance judicial independence with transparency and accountability as stewards of the public’s trust and entrusted resources? How do we become a more vibrant, relevant, diverse, inclusive, and equitable court system for both our internal and external stakeholders? This curriculum has been developed to learn and address key aspects of this last, important question related to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. This course begins with the review of key DEI terms, the importance of DEI in living up to our ideals, an introduction to tools and practices to become a better court in key performance areas, and incorporating DEI as the lens through which we examine our governance, policies, practices, procedures, mission, and vision.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the learner will be able to…

  1. Define, identify, and differentiate the concepts, principles, and terminology of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
    • Equality vs. equity; dimensions of diversity; identifiers; IDEA; inclusive language principles; overcoming implicit bias to further DEI 
  2. Understand why DEI is an essential component of courts that are fair, impartial, and accountable to the public they serve
  3. Relate how DEI is an integral part of each of the NACM CORE Competencies
  4. Recognize cultural variations of court users and the court and how these can be aligned to provide culturally appropriate court services
    •  while maintaining fidelity to our enduring values of impartiality, fairness, equality, equity, dignity, and accountability.
  5. Recognize the effects of implicit bias and how it leads to inequity and unintentional exclusion.  
    • Neuroscience research tells us that as humans, we all have positive and negative biases, and our brains are malleable and can be trained to overcome them. 
  6. Distinguish the tools to approach the conversation around DEI in the courts
    • IDEA 
  7. How to effectively work with judges to create an inclusive environment
  8. Understand the importance of and ways to measure DEI in the courts
    • Court Performance Standards (US and International)
  9. Integrate the key components of a DEI plan into the court’s overall strategic plan
  10. Identify practical actions and tools to incorporate in your court to create a more inclusive and equitable workplace. 
    • Making it real, practical
    • Identify and understand ways to create a work environment where everyone feels supported, welcome, respected, and valued.
    • What practical strategies can court leaders learn and practice?
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Course Includes

  • 5 Modules
  • 5 Quizzes