Equity Award

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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 2017, the National Consortium established the Equity Award to recognize an individual or organization’s distinguished contributions toward our goal.

  • In 2018, the National Consortium honored one of its founding members, Dr. Yolande Marlow of New Jersey for her tireless advocacy for equity and inclusion in the New Jersey courts.
  • In 2019, Mr. Jeff Adachi, Esquire was honored for raising public awareness about system-wide racial injustice as the Public Defender in San Francisco, California.
  • In 2021, the National Consortium bestowed two awards, one to Justice Adrienne Nelson for her decades of work as lawyer and judge to improve the Oregon legal system, and the other to Judge Hiram Puig-Lugo for his leadership with the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Collaborative initiative.

As we commence 2022, the National Consortium is seeking nominations of persons and/or organizations that have shown commitment towards ensuring equity and access to the courts.

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

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 1, 2022, and sent to:

NCREFC Equity Award Committee
Attn: Kimberley Taylor-Riley
(402) 651-3089

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 mid-April 2022.

The Equity Award will be presented during the in-person 2022 National Consortium Annual Conference, May 1-4, 2022, in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Conference Registration information is available here.

PDF  Version

You may download this page in pdf format here.