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Hoosiers Encouraged to Speak Up about Race and Gender Issues

Indiana's Supreme Court justices will hear the concerns and suggestions of Hoosiers about race and gender bias in a series of discussions open to the public. (in.gov)
Indiana's Supreme Court justices will hear the concerns and suggestions of Hoosiers about race and gender bias in a series of discussions open to the public. (in.gov)
February 27, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS – Immigration issues, and accusations of race and gender bias, continue to be in the spotlight across the country. A series of forums to address those topics is being held around Indiana in the next few weeks, with the goal of gathering feedback for the state Supreme Court.

People are invited to participate in small-group discussions sponsored by the court's Commission on Race and Gender Fairness.

Commission chair Myra C. Selby, former Indiana Supreme Court justice, says it's a chance for anyone who has questions, or has run into problems with the court system, to sit down and talk with someone. She says the commission takes public feedback seriously.

"Where appropriate, make recommendations to the Supreme Court about opportunities for either more study, change, or improvement," said Selby.

The first session is tonight (Monday) in Gary, with others to follow in March in Evansville, Fort Wayne, Indianapolis and Lafayette.

According to Selby, the idea is to start a conversation, and let Indiana residents know their concerns are being heard. And she points out that, as a result of similar sessions around the state in 2010, changes were made.

"One of the areas where we thought that our courts could be stronger was in language and cultural barriers, and the court authorized us to move forward in that area," she said. "And we have done so and now, have a very strong court interpreter program."

The Commission on Race and Gender Fairness was created in 1999. It makes recommendations to the state Supreme Court about policies and procedures that promote race and gender fairness in the justice system.

Information about the forums is online here.

Veronica Carter, Public News Service - IN