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Confronting Racism in Massachusetts Courts: New Trial Court Hotline & Community Conversations

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The Massachusetts Trial Court is taking steps to improve racial justice for lawyers as well as the public.


Reporting Incidents

The Trial Court set up a new way to report racial injustice experienced in the Courts, as a direct result of the recent Report Summarizing Affinity Bar Town Hall Meetings from the Massachusetts SJC Standing Committee on Lawyer Well-Being. The email address,, and hotline number, 617-878-0411, are for anyone to use if they believe they or someone they know has been treated in a manner that is disrespectful, hostile, or harassing in the Massachusetts’ courts.

It’s critical for white individuals in the profession to take the burden of speaking out against transgressions. Experiencing racism is exhausting, and those who benefit from it need to be aware and act to stop it.


Community Conversations

The Massachusetts Trial Court has been hosting community conversations to get feedback identify what needs to be improved. Superior Court Justice Angel Kelley, SJC Chief Justice Kimberly Budd, Trial Court Chief Justice Paula Carey, and Court Administrator John Bell, made remarks introducing the conversation. Chief Experience and Diversity Officer John Laing provided ground rules for the community conversation, and Co-Director of Support Services for the Court Sheriece Perry moderated the discussion. Watch the conversation here.

The Chief Justices of each Court also pre-recorded messages available here. Chief Justice Carey discussed the Trial Court’s strategic plans for inclusion, robust experiential trainings, recruitment efforts in communities of color, collecting input from employees, improved discrimination policies, as well as their listening and outreach conversations across the Commonwealth. Watch the pre-recorded message from Chief Justice Carey here.


Related Resources:

New Report Shows What Systemic Bias Looks Like in the Massachusetts Legal Profession

How to Be an Effective Antiracism Ally in the Legal Profession: Resources & BBA Program Notes

Left Out and Left Behind: ABA Report Shows Hurdles Women of Color Face in the Legal Profession

CATEGORIES: Announcements | Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion | Judges, Clerks & Courts | Leadership

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