GMU Professor Manuel-Scott Delivers Keynote Presentation at DC Courts Black History Month EventFor more information, click here
The DC Courts' Black History Month celebration this year focused on life, culture, and education. Throughout the month, programs and activities reflected such, including a lecture given by Dr. Wendi Manuel-Scott, Director of African and African American Studies at George Mason University. Dr. Scott delivered a captivating presentation entitled If We Must Die: Enslaved Africans and the Atlantic Slave Trade.
Opening with Claude McKay's poem If We Must Die, written during the Harlem Renaissance, Dr. Scott correlated the poem to the millions of African, men, women, and children, who were captured off the coasts of Africa to be sold into slavery. The presentation explained rarely-discussed facts about the inhumane conditions of slave ships transporting Africans. Dr. Scott also showed pictures of instruments that were used to torture the slaves, especially those rebellious, while quoting records of accounts on the ship explaining the "Violence exercised in the service of human commodification…"
Dr. Scott has a decorated résumé in history as she is currently a Professor of History and Art History at George Mason University. Born in Chicago and raised throughout the South and Midwest, Dr. Scott graduated from the College of Charleston and received her Ph.D. in history from Howard University. Beyond the classroom, Dr. Scott facilitated the research to curate exhibitions Separate and Unequal in Buckingham County: An Exhibition on Segregation and Desegregation in Virginia and One Hundred Years of African American Life and Leadership in Falls Church, Virginia. Dr. Scott also started the Paul Robeson Saturday Leadership Academy at George Mason University, a Saturday STEM program for 7th-10th grade students that are underrepresented in the STEM fields.
Valentine's Day Weddings Held at DC Superior CourtMore information >
The DC Superior Court's Family Court opened its Marriage Bureau on a Saturday, a very rare event indeed, to help 14 lucky couples celebrate Valentine's Day in a very special way: by getting married! Seven court employees, four of whom are authorized to perform weddings, came in on a Saturday morning to ensure that these couples had weddings – and will have anniversary dates – that they will never forget! The ages, the stories, the countries of origin, the how they met and how long they had known each other varied a great deal. But the bottom line was the same for all – it was love and they wanted to say "I do" and make it legal and forever. Family and friends were there to serve witness, as were local media who were allowed in for the special event. And unlike virtually every other court proceeding, the ones on Saturday, February 14th ended in kisses and hugs…and a few tears!
DC’s Drug Court - A Podcast Provides Information About the Program from a Judge’s and a Participant’s perspective.For more information, click here
Judge Melvin Wright Talks Jury Duty on WAMU’s The Diane Rehm ShowMore information
On Monday, November 3, 2014, Judge Melvin Wright of the DC Superior Court was a guest panelist on WAMU's The Diane Rehm Show speaking on the topic of "Jury Duty in America Today." Judge Wright is not only the Presiding Judge of the Court’s Civil Division but also serves as Chair of the Jury Committee. The show featured legal professionals and professors including Andrew Ferguson from The University of the District of Columbia School of Law and author of "Why Jury Duty Matters: A Citizen's Guide to Constitutional Action."
The discussion began with a dialogue about the percentage of people who show up in response to a summons for jury duty, which is traditionally low in cities across the country for a number of reasons. Ms. Rehm asked Judge Wright if this left judges frustrated. Judge Wright said that the answer is to "find solutions instead of being frustrated" and suggested that more be done to educate citizens of the history of voting rights and its impact in our country. Ferguson supported the notion for better civic education by stating "…that jury duty and the jury process is [an] educative moment, where you learn the skills of democracy."
The broadcast concluded with questions from the public addressing topics such as the impact of jury duty service on those who are self-employed and the financial concerns of serving.
Feel free to listen to the "Jury Duty in America Today" podcast of the Diane Rehm Show here
Earlier this year, Professor Ferguson published the "New Juror Orientation Video" for the DC Superior Court. Click here to watch.
DC Superior Court and CFSA co-hosted the 28th Annual Adoption Day, celebrating 38 adoptionsFor more information, click here
On Saturday, November 22nd, DC Superior Court’s Family Court and the DC Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA) co-hosted the 28th Annual Adoption Day ceremony, an event designed to celebrate the joy of adoption. Thirty-eight adoptions were finalized as the new families were introduced and their respective judges signed the adoption decrees.
Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, Mayor Vincent Gray, and CFSA Director Brenda Donald gave special remarks underscoring the importance of adoption in the District. Congresswoman Norton emphatically congratulated the work of the Superior Court and CFSA as the number of children in DC foster care has been reduced significantly.
For more coverage of our Adoption Day, see http://www.dccourts.gov/internet/media/adoptionday/main.jsf