La Placita Manifesto

Approved by unanimous action of the First National Conference on Eliminating Racial and Ethnic Bias in the Courts in session at Albuquerque, New Mexico, on March 5, 1995


Resolved, that the First National Conference on Eliminating Racial and Ethnic Bias in the Courts hereby declares:

That women of color encounter dual barriers of racism and sexism in the justice system and legal profession;

That too often the unique situation and negative experiences of women of color are neglected or inadequately addressed in studies of bias and discrimination in the courts; and

That steps to rectify this oversight must and should be undertaken forthwith, to wit:

1. Recognition of the double disadvantage of being a woman of color involved in the justice system — whether as litigant, lawyer, judge, witness, court personnel, or law student;

2. Inclusion in existing bias and fairness commissions, a subcommittee dealing with women of color, or inclusion in any implementation task force created to put proposals of bias commissions into action;

3. Collective support for data collection and research on the status of women of color in the justice system;

4. Outreach efforts to organizations and individuals with similar interests;

5. Inclusion of more women of color in all aspects of the planning of future conferences on bias in the courts;

6. Exploration of ways to convene a national conference on women of color in the courts — in conjunction with other entities such as the National Association of Women Judges, National Consortium of Commissions and Task Forces on Racial and Ethnic Bias in the Courts, National Association of Women’s Bar Associations, minority bar associations, the ABA Commission on Opportunities for Minorities in the Profession, the Multicultural Women Attorneys Network, and state racial and ethnic bias and gender bias commissions; and

7. Programs specifically aimed at relieving and eliminating the burdens imposed on women of color in all aspects of the legal and justice system.

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