The NIU College of Law’s Embracing Diversity Scholarship Series hosted a panel discussion, “Diversity from the Bench: Teasing Out Implicit Bias in the Judicial System,” on Saturday, February 27. The virtual program included six alumni judges as panelists including: Hon. Vincent Cornelius (’89), 12th Judicial Circuit; Hon. René Cruz (’95), 16th Judicial Circuit; Hon. Sondra Denmark (’04), Circuit Court of Cook County; Hon. Sheree Henry (’94), Circuit Court of Cook County; Hon. Diann Marsalek (’89), Circuit Court of Cook County; and Hon. Joseph McGraw (’85), 17th Judicial Circuit. The panel was moderated by Professor Tiffany Puckett, an assistant professor of Educational Administration in the NIU College of Education and adjunct professor for the College of Law.
The thought-provoking discussion centered around implicit bias in the judicial system. The panel answered a number of moderator and attendee questions including how implicit bias infects and effects judicial decision making, how can judges become committed to justice instead of merely being compliant with it, and what are some strategies judges could readily implement towards either raising awareness of implicit bias within their circuits or encouraging themselves and colleagues to become more comfortable confronting and quelling implicit bias.
One of the bedrock values of the NIU College of Law is to create an inclusive and diverse community. The Embracing Diversity Scholarship provides financial support for rising second- and third-year students to create, manage, and oversee a series of talks and community conversations addressing issues of socio-economic diversity. To help support the Embracing Diversity Scholarship Series or other NIU College of Law student-centered initiatives, please visit the College of Law giving page.
The next Embracing Diversity Scholarship Series program, Inclusion By Design – Not Default, will present a disability, diversity, gender, and LGBTQIA Etiquette Workshop to actively create inclusive classrooms, workplaces, and relationships. The program will be held on Wednesday, March 31, 2021 from 3:00 – 4:30 pm. Additional details will be provided on our website when available.