Equity Award

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2024 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.

The awardees include:
2018: Dr. Yolande Marlow, a founding member of the Consortium
2019: Mr. Jeff Adachi, Public Defender
2020: No award given, conference was cancelled due to COVID-19
2021: Judge Nelson and Judge Puig-Lugo
2022: Hon. Edwina G. Richardson-Mendelson and the Center for Death Penalty Litigation
2023: Mavis Nimoh, Executive Director of the Center for Health and Justice

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.

Nomination 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:
    o  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).
    o  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.
    o  Any changes that have been made in the system as a result of the Nominee's efforts.
    o  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 March 29, 2024, and sent to:

NCREFC Equity Award Committee  
Attn: Kimberley Taylor-Riley  
Diversity Equity and Inclusion Program Manager
321 N. Harvey Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK 73102

The Selection Committee will review the nominations and recommend recipients to the full National Consortium Board for approval.  The nominators and recipients will be notified in or around April 2024.

The Equity Award will be presented during the 2024 National Consortium Annual Conference, May 19-22, 2024.  Registration information is available on www.national-consortium.org.

PDF  Version

You may download this page in pdf format here.