Greetings and Happy Diversity Awareness Month,
National Diversity Day is an annual event on the first Friday in
October. On October 14, 2020, members of our bench had an opportunity to help bring awareness on diversity and inclusion at the recent 17th Annual Images and Perceptions Diversity Conference.
The conference sets a positive tone for the diversity and inclusion work that our judges and staff must embark upon. Here is the link to the session facilitated by former U.S. Attorney Barbara Quade, with our own Hon. Charlene Elder, Hon. Noah P. Hood, Hon. Patricia Fresard, and from the U.S. District Court, Eastern District Hon. Judith E. Levy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxBmdY2ZDio
It is our responsibility to implement diversity and inclusion into action. The Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan team is only one piece of the work. The success of our internal operations and our delivery of judicial services to the public is dependent on our individual and collective actions moment to moment.
The great hope of society is in individual character.
On September 19th, Judge Strong was honored as
A Man of Justice by the Charles H. Wright Museum
at a drive-through membership drive at the museum.
This mural is located on Brentwood and Woodward, near Seven Mile in Detroit. There are various murals depicting Hispanic culture throughout Detroit.
Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated September 15 - October 15, 2020.
Our Court's first Hispanic judges were Hon. Isidore Torres and Hon. Patricia Fresard, our current Chief Judge Pro Temp. For years, Judge Fresard has hosted court personnel to partake in authentic Hispanic dishes during Hispanic Heritage Month. We will miss that annual gathering and in the absence invite court personnel to learn more about Hispanic Heritage Month on the U.S. Department of State website https://www.state.gov/hispanic-heritage-month-2020/
CASA Interview on the
Steve Hood Show
On September 20th, the Wayne County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program was highlighted on the Steve Hood Show, "Detroit Wants to Know." The Sunday morning host, Steve Hood, gave special attention to Michigan CASA, of which our local Wayne County CASA, Executive Director Roland Smith was featured in an upfront down-to-earth interview.
The interview stressed the need for Child Advocacy and volunteers to help with our children in the foster care system. Roland explained the process of what it takes to become a CASA volunteer and the work that is involved. Currently Wayne County CASA is serving 102 children with 55 volunteers. There are over 3,000 children in Wayne County Foster Care homes.
If you would like additional information and/or would like to see the full interview, click here.
MENTAL HEALTH COURT AND DRUG COURT CELEBRATE
THEIR FIRST EVER VIRTUAL COMMENCEMENTS
In the midst of a global pandemic, Specialty Court Services-Criminal Division, remained true to its goals and objectives of its programs by reducing new crime in the jurisdiction, by reducing the use of drugs and alcohol while in programming, and by improving the overall quality of life of program participants so that they may become productive, contributing citizens to their communities.
This past September, Criminal Division celebrated two momentous occasions virtually; Mental Health Court Commencement on September 18 and Drug Court commencement on September 25.
Since the Criminal Division remains essentially closed to the public, they had to think outside of the box. They wanted to ensure that program participants who had worked so hard to maintain their sobriety during one of the most stressful times in their lives was recognized. And so, Specialty Court Services prepared for graduation as they always do for the month of September.
Participants received their caps and tassels and joined their respective program hosts for their virtual 2020 commencement.
This year they honored 14 program participants in Mental Health Court and 13 in Drug Court.
Each ceremony was overseen by their respective Supervising Judges, Judge Mariam Bazzi and Judge Regina Thomas for Mental Health Court and Judge Qiana Lillard and Judge Bridget Hathaway for Drug Court, both acting on behalf of Presiding Judge Prentis Edwards, Jr. in his absence.
A huge thank you to Chief Judge Timothy M. Kenny; Executive Court Administrator, Zenell Brown; Chief Financial Officer, Lyn Roberts and her team; General Counsel, Richard Lynch; Deputy Court Administrator, Alisa Shannon; and Director of Criminal Court Services, Tamela Aikens for their continued support of the efforts within Specialty Court Services. As well as to the multitude of community partners, without whom the Court could not do the work it does as a team.