Equity Award


Submission Guidelines

The National Consortium on Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Courts (the National Consortium) is committed to promoting a court system that is fair to all and free of racial and ethnic bias. In furtherance of that goal, the National Consortium established the Equity Award in 2017 to recognize and encourage individuals within the court system who work consistently to advance equal access and fair treatment for all regardless of race, ethnicity, gender or economic status. Presented at the Annual Conference, the Equity Award recognizes a distinguished lifetime of contributions or an exceptional contribution to the goal of advancing and preserving a court system that is free of racial and ethnic bias and fair to all participants. In 2018, the National Consortium honored one of its founding
members, Dr. Yolande Marlow, recognizing her tireless advocacy for equity and inclusion in the New Jersey courts. In 2019, Mr. Jeff Adachi was honored for exceptional litigation skills as well as raising public awareness about system-wide racial injustice as the Public Defender in San Francisco, California.

The 2020 National Consortium Annual Conference was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the Equity Award was not presented. This year, the Consortium will bestow two awards honoring both an individual and an organization. We are seeking nominations of persons or organizations that have shown commitment towards ensuring equity and access to the courts. The nominations received in 2020 will automatically be considered for the 2021 awards cycle. 2020 Nominators may update or enhance their previously submitted application in the manner set forth below.

Selection Criteria

In making its decision, the Selection Committee will consider each nominee’s overall efforts and accomplishments in promoting racial and ethnic fairness and impartiality in the courts, the legal profession, and the law enforcement community. The Selection Committee will consider a record of exceptional contribution made over a professional lifetime in the following areas:

  • Eliminating bias from court operations.
  • Promoting equal access to the courts.
  • Inspiring a high level of trust and public confidence in the courts.
  • Supporting independent commissions in the examination of racial and ethnic fairness within their court.
  • Integrating evidence-based practices within the courts, the legal community, or law enforcement to advance court reforms.
  • Educating members of the court, the legal profession, the law enforcement community, and the public concerning racial and ethnic fairness in the courts.

Nominations Guidelines

Nominations may be submitted by an individual or group and must include:

  • The name, title, email address and phone number of the Nominee - person/group
  • The name, title, email address and phone number of the Nominator - person/group
  • The resume or curriculum vitae of the Nominee

Nomination Guidelines Continued

A summary, not to exceed two (2) double-spaced pages, including the following:

  • The efforts made by the Nominee to improve racial and ethnic fairness in the courts (e.g., coalitions formed, legislation proposed, task forces created, litigation initiated).
  • The number of years the Nominee has been involved in efforts to improve racial and ethnic fairness in the courts, and a brief history of the Nominee's career.
  • Any changes that have been made in the system as a result of the Nominee's efforts.
  • Video submissions, no more than two minutes in length, may be included to satisfy this requirement.

Supplementary materials - such as papers/reports authored by the Nominee, news articles about the Nominee, and letters of support - may be submitted with the Nomination.


The Nomination packet, including the items outlined above, must be received no later than April 23, 2021, and sent to:

NCREFC Equity Award Committee
Attn: Kimberley Taylor-Riley
Civilian Oversight Board
1520 Market Street, Room 4029
St. Louis, MO 63103

The Selection Committee will review the nominations and recommend recipients to the full National Consortium Board for its approval. The nominators and recipients will be notified in or around May 2021.

The Equity Award will be presented during the 2021 virtual National Consortium Annual Conference, May 24-26, 2021. Conference Registration information is available here.

Download 2021 Equity Award Letter