Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Justice Center participates in 2016 Color of Justice program and hosts 40 rural high school students

The Justice Center participated in the 2016 Color of Justice program on February 25 and 26 in Anchorage. As part of this event for high school students, the Justice Center coordinated a half-day of presentations on campus and a campus tour for 40 rural high school students who had been selected to attend the event. The high school students from villages around the state were flown to Anchorage under the auspices of the Rural Student Initiative sponsored by all the regional Alaska Native corporations.

In the afternoon, local Anchorage-area high school students joined the group to hear presentations on law school, meet with volunteer legal community and judiciary mentors, and participate in a mock trial at the Boney Courthouse.Over 70 high school students participated in the two-day event.

The Color of Justice program is designed to foster diversity in the legal profession and judiciary by encouraging youth from varied backgrounds and ethnicities to consider careers as lawyers and judges.
The Rural Student Initiative — sponsored by all the regional Alaska Native corporations — was a new component this year to the Color of Justice program. 

The Justice Center coordinated presentations about the Justice and Legal Studies programs at UAA, the UAA Multicultural Center, Native Student Services, and Alaska Native Studies. The half-day event included a tour of the campus, and lunch with  UAA students from the Pre-Law Society, Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program (ANSEP), and the Native Student Council.

Prof. Ryan Fortson, J.D., and Prof. Deb Periman, J.D., Legal Studies faculty in the Justice Center, serve on the "Color of Justice" organizing committee.  Prof.  Fortson, Prof. Periman, Prof. Jason Brandeis, J.D., and Prof. Kristin Knudsen, J.D., participated in the mock trial and other presentations.

The Color of Justice program is presented by the National Association of Women Judges, the Alaska Bar Association, the Alaska Court System, Pacific Northwest law schools, and other sponsors.

See the photo gallery below:

L to r standing: Prof. Ryan Fortson, Justice Center, and Bruce Anders, CIRI, with the
 rural high school students at the opening of the program at the UAA Multicultural Center.

L to r standing: Dr. André Thorn, UAA Multicultural Center Director, and
Dr. Medeia Csoba DeHass, UAA Anthropology Dept. and Alaska Native Studies.
Dr. Thorn welcomed the students to the center, and Dr. DeHass gave examples
of the kinds of Native Studies projects that UAA students are involved in.

Tamika Dowdy, UAA Student Transition Advisor at the Multicultural Center,
explained the resources available to students coming to our campus.

Willy Templeton (center), Director, UAA Native Student Services,
and Sheila Randazzo (l), Transition Advisor for the program,
outlined the assistance their staff can provide students.

Prof. Willy Hensley, UAA College of Business and Public Policy Visiting Professor,
and an Alaska Native leader, encouraged students to learn about and become
active in Alaska Native issues on a local, state, and federal level.

Students visited ANSEP and heard from Michael Bourdukofsky (standing r),
Chief Operations Officer.

At ANSEP, Michael Ulroan (r), Acceleration Academy Regional Director, talked
about the programs available to students.

District Court Judge Pamela Washington (l) and Justice Center Prof. Jason Brandeis (r),
quizzed students about constitutional issues during "Constitutional Cranium" which
was held in the Alaska Supreme Courtroom.  Students were presented with cases
and asked to decide if the issue in question was protected by the Alaska Constitution.

In the Alaska Supreme Courtroom, volunteer attorneys met before helping
students prepare for the mock trial portion of the program.

Alaska Supreme Court Justice Dana Fabe (center) talked to students about being
a lawyer and a judge.  Students met with over a dozen volunteer lawyers and judges
during "Mentor-Jet: A Speed Mentoring Experience." Retired Alaska Supreme Court
Justice Walter Carpeneti can be seen to the right and behind  Justice Fabe.

The Color of Justice program received assistance from (l to r):
Pamela Orme, Anchorage School District; Rachel Batres, CIRI; and
Margaret Newman, Alaska Court System.
The February 25 afternoon program was hosted by CIRI
at their headquarters office.