Tackling Racism & Inequality at Family Court

The integrity of the legal system demands more – given our nation’s long struggle with racial discrimination; given that the system is disproportionately focused on families of color; and given the layers of subjective discretion already built-into the system. So we will look at the needed reframing – and in this presentation we will start with basic fairness and our duties as lawyers.

The other part of the solution from our perspective is consistency. We will remind practitioners what the ABA said about families and children at the border and will also remind everyone that “reasonable” and “best”, while the most prominent standards, still need to be consistent. We will show from a look at blind removals that they just aren’t.

So this presentation will remind practitioners that to be fair and unbiased we must walk in someone else’s shoes. It will remind us that we are impacting real lives – and what the real families before us really care about, want, need, and what are their true interests are.

We will present reminders about the impacts of the trauma from removal and show how intervention impacts so as to focus the conversation and further re-focus us from justifying to instead helping only when really needed and most of all understanding.

Then the presentation will shift to a presentation of the hope seen in a growing understanding that poverty is not per se neglect. It will show the precariousness of life when you’re barely getting by and the over surveillance when you are in a minority group, as well as, social media’s contributions to the imbalance. Further, we will show just how certain groups are not listened to/respected/trusted/given the same chance and how that must change. 

Finally we will focus on the laws before us and what other movements have done when injustice has been obvious – make change in the best way possible and we can do the same. Such that attendees will see that true justice at family court IS the civil rights issue of the day!

Speaker: Laurie V. Snell, Attorney at Law and Truman Day CLE Committee Founder, Kansas City