Final Thoughts

We hope that you found these anti-racist lawyering concepts and strategics informative and worthwhile. Our primary goal was to provide you with ideas on how to get started on or move further along in your own race equity journey. Moreover, we hope this initiative pushed you to try new and effective ways to advocate for your clients. Nevertheless, expect to make mistakes and pivot as you learn and use the tools in your jurisdiction. We must move forward bravely, recognize the limitations of our skills and knowledge, and seek advice. We must understand that as limited as we are, we can still zealously advocate for children, parents, and families that find themselves entangled in the child welfare system. Our clients will teach us if we listen, and we must be open to learning, and unafraid of taking a risk.

As beautifully stated in The Advocate, Litigating Race Issues to Protect Equal Justice in Kentucky:

To succeed in litigating race and investigating the potential negative impact of racial bias, we must expand our defense teams to include racial and cultural diversity. Whether formally appointed, or brought on for a particular case, the role of these special team members must be clear to all on the team… The more formal the arrangement, the better protected our client. If our clients or potential witnesses are non-English speaking, the defense team must have someone who speaks the language and understands the cultural customs we may miss and that may be crucial to a defense. With no window to the cultural, ethnic, or racial world of our clients, we can fail to consider what might be the heart of the case.

The Advocate, Litigating Race Issues to Protect Equal Justice in Kentucky


The world is a better place thanks to people who want to share their knowledge and the gift of their time to support their colleagues. The workgroup members listed below did just that. We are grateful for their active participation and contributions, as well as the ideas, edits and feedback given by youths and parents formerly involved in the foster care system.

A special thank you to Phyllis Stricklan who led out on the project since its inception,  and to Alexandria Cinney,  Felicea Robinson, and Jey Rajaraman who co-led, organized, and kept the work moving forward. Their leadership is greatly appreciated. A special thanks also to Mimi Laver, Prudence Beidler Carr, and Amelia Watson, for having the great idea for this undertaking and turning it into the workgroup that developed this initiative.

Active participants

Ron Ayler
Daniel Adamek
Samira Barnes
Prudence Beidler Carr
Elana Burk
Ben Chan
Marci Comeau
Amy Cortright
Kathleen Creamer
Lisa Dabalos-Mahon
Sherri Freemont
Cristina Freitas
Debbie Freitas
Aldis Gamble

Louie Gaspar
Andrea Gleaves

Yolanda Houston
Maura Keating
Melina Kountouris
Cathy Krebs
Saadiqa Kumanyika
Mimi Laver
Associate Professor Randi Mandelbaum
Jennifer McGee

Joyce McMillian
Rise Staff, including Jeanette Vega Co-Executive Director Roxanne Romelli
Kele Marcia Stewart
Natalece Washington
Alex Wolff
Rob Wyman