The Judicial Diversity Initiative Launches Judicial Forums in South Florida
SOUTH FLORIDA – In an effort to further their mission to diversify South Florida’s judiciary, the Judicial Diversity Initiative’s (JDI) coalition members will be launching a series of candidate and judicial forums in Palm Beach, Miami-Dade, and Broward counties.
Five forums featuring judicial candidates are scheduled throughout July and August leading up to the August 30, 2016 judicial elections.
Schedule of Judiciary Forums
• July 14: Lauderdale Lakes
• July 21: Miami Gardens
• July 25: Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach & Miami Gardens
• August 1: Northwest Miami-Dade County
• August 2: West Palm Beach
On July 14, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. at the Merrell United Methodist Church in Lauderdale Lakes, the Caribbean Bar Association (“CBA”), and the Haitian Lawyers Association (“HLA”) have partnered with the Greater Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce (“GCACC”), and a number of other community organizations, to host a Candidate Forum.
The community will have a chance to meet the candidates running in the County Court judicial elections, as well as the State Representative, County Commission, City of Lauderhill mayoral, and Broward Sheriff elections.
On July 21, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. at the Holy Family Episcopal Church in Miami Gardens, the CBA has partnered with GCACC to provide the community the opportunity to meet candidates running in the Miami-Dade Circuit Court and County Court judicial elections, as well as the State Representative, Miami Gardens mayoral, and Miami Gardens City Commission elections.
The CBA, HLA, and The T.J. Reddick Bar Association have also partnered with the Women of Color Empowerment Institute and other community partners on July 25, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. to host judicial and candidate forums simultaneously in Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach counties.
In Fort Lauderdale the forum will be held at the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center, in Miami Gardens the forum will be held at the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, and in West Palm Beach the forum will be held at the Urban League of Palm Beach County. In addition to the judicial races, candidates in the “hot” races in each County will be featured.
On August 1, 2016 at the New Birth Cathedral of Faith in Northwest Miami-Dade County, the Gwen S. Cherry Black Women Lawyers Association in collaboration with the Dade County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and National Action Network will be hosting a Judicial Forum providing another excellent opportunity for the community to get to know the Circuit Court and County Court judicial candidates.
The F. Malcolm Cunningham, Sr. Bar Association has led the Palm Beach County efforts and has partnered with the CBA, HLA and a number of community organizations to host a Judicial Forum at the West Palm Beach City Commission Chambers on August 2, 2016 at 6:00 p.m.
“Candidate forums are crucial to making judicial diversity a reality. It is important that we educate the community and empower them to participate meaningfully in the judicial elections,” explained JDI Recruitment Chair Annika Ashton, Esq.
The Judicial Diversity Initiative is a coalition of the black bar associations in South Florida, including The T.J. Reddick Bar Association, the Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr. Bar Association, the F. Malcolm Cunningham, Sr. Bar Association, the Gwen S. Cherry Black Women Lawyers Association, the Haitian Lawyers Association, the Caribbean Bar Association, and the Charles B. Morton Chapter of the National Black Prosecutors Association.
The JDI was formed in June of 2015 in response to a lack of black judges on the bench in the South Florida tri-county area.
The JDI is committed to ensuring the community it serves has diverse judges, who not only demonstrate the ability and willingness to interpret and apply the law utilizing sound judgment and discretion.
The JDI focuses on researching key facts and statistics related to diversity on the bench; recruiting and developing diverse, talented candidates for the judiciary; advocating for more diversity in the judiciary; and educating the public about the importance of a diverse and independent judiciary.