After the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, I encourage everyone to take some time to reflect on her work advancing equality for women, LGBTQ+ people, and people of color in the United States. The judiciary, legal profession, and nation have lost a legend and an icon. She was a model of grace, strength, and integrity. We are able to be who we are because RBG was who she was.
As we head into October, the equinox is upon us, bringing a change of seasons. For many of us in the northern hemisphere we welcome autumn, and for our antipodean colleagues (yes, we have members from “down under”!) spring. Whatever your season, it’s a time for reflection, growth, and change.
On September 23, LGBTQ+ Judges hosted part II of our Annual Meeting and Conference’s Judicial Institute, with our speakers resuming “The World on Fire” panel via Zoom. During part II, our members took a deeper dive into exploring systemic racism, how we as judges might better understand the systems we work in, and our roles within them.
I thank the “World on Fire” panelists for their expertise. I will never consider a mosquito bite (a metaphor in one teaching video for systemic racism that people of color suffer day in and day out) the same way ever again. I also appreciate our members for showing up with open minds and sharing candidly within the Zoom breakout rooms.
Please stand with us as we continue to explore the prevalence and impact of racism and how it affects our respective judicial systems and our profession.
We should work to broaden our Association as well. To this end, our membership committee is being reignited with the goal of expanding our membership and its breadth. As an organization we can sometimes appear overly North American-centric. I am mindful we are an international organization and we will work to identify and welcome new members from the far corners of the globe.
Though constrained by virtual conferences and travel restrictions, LGBTQ+ Judges will also be ramping up efforts to collaborate with other diversity judicial organizations. By working with judges who might not know us well, or us them, we will build connections, find common ground, learn new perspectives, and perhaps welcome new members.