The Center for Racial Justice and Criminal Justice Reform at the UA Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law, in partnership with the Arkansas Administrative Office of the Courts, has received $20,000 from the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation.
The funds will be used to plan, implement, and execute a judicial listening series. In spring 2022, there will be five judicial engagement events throughout the state and in central Arkansas. These events will bring together judges and community members to discuss how the judicial system impacts community members’ lives.
Using these funds, the Center has hired four students as community engagement fellows. These fellows will implement this project, manage outreach, and conduct each event.
This is the latest initiative from the Center, which launched earlier this year. Its mission is to advance legal equity, access to justice, and fairness in Arkansas and the region. In addition to strengthening the law school’s existing diversity pipeline programs and its unique state-wide court observation program, the Center focuses on specific criminal justice research projects while offering workshops and educational events for the legal community and the community as a whole.
“We are grateful for the Rockefeller Foundation’s support of this series and for the chance to partner with the Administrative Office of the Courts,” said Theresa Beiner, Bowen’s dean. “The opportunity to connect state court judges and community members promises to help open a beneficial dialogue and fits well within Bowen’s core values of access to justice, public service, and professionalism.”