Reflections on Race and Justice: A Video Series from the NC Judicial College

Following the killing of George Floyd, several of North Carolina’s judicial officials joined others across the state and nation in sharing their personal experiences and perspectives on racism, bias, and disparate treatment and in calling for improvements to our justice system. Wake County District Court Judge Ashleigh Dunston recounted in her Fall 2020 State Bar Journal article, Justice Isn’t Always Blind, numerous first-hand accounts from Black judges and attorneys who have endured demeaning and discriminatory treatment in and out of the courtroom. One of the approaches we have taken at the North Carolina Judicial College to promote racial equity is by providing education on implicit bias and about empirical analyses of disparate treatment of and outcomes for minorities. Neither of these approaches adequately imparts the personal pain that many court officials and attorneys themselves have experienced. To give voice to these experiences, we created a video series, Reflections on Race and Justice. Several brave jurists have contributed their personal narratives. Judges who have seen the series have shared with us the impact of their colleagues’ voices and the desire for improvement that it inspires. Our project is ongoing, and we hope to collect many more accounts. If you would like to contribute your own perspective to this project, please contact me at denning@sog.unc.edu.