December 11, 2020 7 hr CLE: Access to Justice: 2020 and Beyond

Mediate Iowa is sponsoring a 7 hr Zoom CLE this Friday, December 11 from 8:30am-4:50 pm. The CLE includes 2.5 hours of ethics credit.


8:30 Welcome
8:35 – 9:35 How Implicit Bias in the Legal Profession Perpetuates Systemic Racism (1 hr.)
9:35 – 9:45 Break (10 minutes)
9:45 – 11:15 Ethical Concerns: Reducing Racial & Ethnic Disparities in Juvenile Justice in Johnson County (1.5 hr.)
11:15-11:25 Break (10 minutes)
11:25-12:25 Cultural Proficiency for Organizations and Professionals (1 hr.)
12:25-1:00 LUNCH (35 minutes)
1:00-2:30 Organizations and Social Justice: A Roundtable Discussion (1.5 hr.)
2:30 – 2:40 Break (10 minutes)
2:40 – 3:40 Trauma-Informed Practices (1 hr.)
3:40 – 3:50 Break (10 minutes)
3:50 – 4:50 Changing a School’s Climate and Children’s Lives (I hr.)

Registration: In this time of Covid, and given the uncertainty people are experiencing, and given the importance of this information, we are offering this conference at reduced rates:
For attorneys who want CLE credit, the registration is $125 for the day.

For all others, including employees of nonprofits, governments, elected officials, community members, students, the registration is $25.
Volume discounts: If an employer or people get together and register 5 people at once, they can each pay $20. Please contact for more information.
Scholarships: If you need a scholarship, please contact for more information.

Click below for detailed descriptions of the sessions and presenter lists.

Program and Presenters

Ethical Concerns: How Implicit Bias in the Legal Profession Perpetuates Systemic Racism

This presentation will explain what implicit biases are, how and when they are formed, important psychological principles that drive implicit biases, how they are measured and how they adversely affect the legal profession and perpetuate systemic racism. It will also unravel the emerging social science that Afrocentric facial features and skin tone bias is more harmful in the legal system than simply black/white racial bias.

Presenter: Hon. Mark W. Bennett (Ret. U.S. district judge), Drake University Law School:
Director, Institute for Justice Reform & Innovation

Ethical Concerns: Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Juvenile Justice in Johnson County
Presentation will focus on Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) in juvenile cases in Johnson County, juvenile justice in Iowa, identifying pathways into ‘the system’, critical decision points in the process, guiding principles for change and what we can change, the recognition that system problems require system solutions, and the goals already accomplished, including data.
Presenters: Erin Altheide, Supervisor, Johnson County Juvenile Court Office; Emily Voss, Assistant Johnson County Attorney; Anthony A. Haughton, Linn County Advocate; Hon. Deborah Minot, Associate Judge, Sixth Judicial District.

Cultural Proficiency for Organizations and Professionals
Cultural Proficiency is the most powerful resource for identifying appropriate and inappropriate behaviors, policies and practices. Every organization that cares about diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace should constantly turn to cultural proficiency tools. Laura Gray will lead you through the tools for cultural proficiency, barriers to it and discuss why striving to be culturally proficient will transform your work spaces into welcoming and inclusive environments for all staff.
Presenter: Laura Gray, Director of Diversity and Cultural Responsiveness, Iowa City Community School District

Organizations and Social Justice: A Roundtable Discussion
Local organizations speak about their stated commitments re: systemic inequity and systemic racism and making decisions through a social justice and equity lens. What are they doing organizationally (policies, procedures, strategic plans) in this regard? What are they doing re: hiring, retaining and educating staff? Are they changing the substance/content of their work? How transparent are they being about this work? How do they intend to deal with the inevitable mistakes and unintended impacts of these changes? Sara Barron and Michael Shaw will co-facilitate this roundtable discussion. Participants include: Sara Barron, Director, the Johnson County Affordable Housing Coalition; Elsworth Carman, Director of the Iowa City Public Library; Matt Degner, Interim Superintendent of the Iowa City Community School District; and Kirsten Faisal, State Trainer for the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Trauma-Informed Practices
Our trainings utilize the science of brain development and incorporate trauma informed and implicit bias lenses to help make sense of the behaviors of young people (and people in general). Our positive youth development framework focuses on the importance of meeting young people (and all people) where they are at and working towards healthy and trusting relationships and spaces.
Presenters: Talia Meidlinger, LISW and Ally Hanten, LMFT, of UAY, United Action for Youth.

Changing a School’s Climate and Children’s Lives
Justin Blietz is the Director of Culture and Climate Transformation for the Cedar Rapids Community School District. He is the former Associate Principal at McKinley STEAM Academy and Wilson Middle School, where he supported the transformation of social, emotional and behavior systems, through a trauma-informed and restorative lens. He will talk about the changes they made, how he introduced these changes, how he trained staff and got them on board, the challenges, what worked, what he learned, and the results.