Page 4 - 2017 Washington State Access to Justice Conference
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Dear Friends and Colleagues,
It gives me immense pleasure to welcome you to our state’s 19th Access to Justice Conference.
I want to thank all who made this conference possible, particularly Co-Chairs Ishbel Dickens and Beth Leonard, ably aided by the members of the ATJ Conference Planning Committee, with strong support from the Washington State Supreme Court, the Washington State Bar Association (particularly Diana Singleton and Bonnie Sterken), and the generous conference sponsors.
The theme of this year’s conference is Racing to Justice: Community Lawyering to Bend the Arc.
We are a long way from balancing the scales of justice, but people like you – people who dedicate
their time and their lives to serving marginalized, persecuted and vulnerable individuals, families
and communities – are making a difference and moving us forward in our quest for a just society.
As we are all too well aware, while access to the justice system is a fundamental right, it remains
out of reach for far too many. And recent events have made matters worse. The federal government
is persecuting and cutting support for many of the vulnerable communities that you serve. The
conference will feature the presentation of the new State Plan, and large-group learning as well as
small break-out opportunities where we will strategize on how we can repudiate and resist policies that are impacting the marginalized communities that you all work with. We also plan to offer opportunities to help participants renew and recharge their efforts by giving you capacity building sessions featuring best practices, skills and tools that can help our community to work more effectively and ef ciently. Further, we have two outstanding speakers this year, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal and Washington State Solicitor General Noah Purcell.
As we heed the urgent call to strategize around emerging issues as a uni ed community, part of the conference agenda will highlight the goal of breaking down the silos we work in to better organize across disciplines and perspectives. Keeping our commitments to those with and for whom you work has always been a daunting challenge. But as in past years, this conference gives us the precious
and invaluable opportunity to get back together, re-energize and recommit. Our time in Yakima offers us the chance to learn from one another and from a wide array of experts ready to help us share best practices, and strengthen our skills. We will build on the momentum we have created together over the past 20 plus years while bringing in and learning from the next generation of equity and justice champions.
I hope you will take time this weekend to re ect on how you can best serve as a partner in the equity and justice movement, whatever your role, arena of work or level of experience—we are a big “tent” and must grow and expand if we are to be successful! On behalf of the Access to Justice Board, welcome to our 19th Access to Justice Conference. Please take advantage of everything that has been so thoughtfully planned for you.
Best wishes for a rewarding conference,
Geoffrey Revelle
Access to Justice Board, Chair
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