- Massachusetts Probation Service
Media Contact for The Trial Court’s First Cultural Appreciation Week is less than a week away
Coria Holland, Communications Director
MASSACHUSETTS — Approximately 60 court departments and Community Corrections Centers will host celebrations to mark the Massachusetts Trial Court’s first Cultural Appreciation Week, September 24 – 28. This statewide event celebrates the rich cultural, racial, ethnic, and gender diversity of court users, staff, and surrounding communities. It is one of the largest and few events of its kind in the nation.
Among the events are two separate Naturalization ceremonies to welcome new American citizens. The first ceremony is at Middlesex Superior Court on Thursday, September 27, at 11 am and the second is at Bristol Superior Court the following day, on Friday, September 28, at noon. Other celebrations will feature music, dance, art, and museum exhibits, cultural fashion, poetry, as well as food tastings and cooking demonstrations. Some of the courts have made it a community affair by setting up resource tables for local neighborhood groups and businesses. One site, Boston Municipal Court-Dorchester, is offering a Flu Clinic as residents prepare for winter cold and flu season.
This celebration was introduced last year as Cultural Appreciation Day which was conceived by Massachusetts Probation Service Regional Supervisor Pamerson Ifill, whose goal is to unite and educate court employees around issues of diversity and inclusiveness as well as enhance services for court users. This event was launched with more than 120 Massachusetts Probation Service staff volunteers, referred to as Cultural Proficiency Champions, who attend regular diversity trainings and serve as ambassadors at each of the courts and Community Corrections Centers across the Commonwealth.
After last year’s success, Trial Court Chief Justice Paula M. Carey decided to extend the celebration to a one week observance.
Chief Justice Carey said, “The Trial Court has embarked on a multi-pronged effort to address issues of diversity, equity and inclusion. We have learned to develop our capacity to understand and respond to these issues, we must build awareness into the fabric of who we are and what we do. Diversity is not a topic that we think about or refer to only at times of crisis and complaints; rather, diversity is the way we promote justice, equality, fairness, inclusion, and respect of all people regardless of their identity. Holding Naturalization ceremonies in our courts next week helps illustrate the unique fabric of our nation.”
Probation Commissioner Edward Dolan said of Cultural Appreciation Week, “We are working to achieve a racially, ethnically, and gender-balanced workforce that draws from and looks like the communities we service. The more we understand the lives of those we serve, the more we can change those lives, improve families, and make our communities safer.”