Michigan's ethnically and racially diverse population—75 ethnic groups from 150 countries, and the need to better understand and serve these groups in the legal system, has prompted the State Bar of Michigan to revive the Cultural Awareness Project.
The project is a joint endeavor of the Bar's Equal Access and Criminal Issues Initiatives. It seeks to collect and provide information online, initiate dialogue through a statewide symposium, and develop a core of experts in local communities who can advise and help bridge the behavioral norms of ethnically and racially diverse individuals and our justice system.
As ministers of justice, fairness, and equality, attorneys and others in the legal system, including members of the public are encouraged to volunteer their help. Volunteers are needed with expertise in the following areas:
- Recognizing and addressing cultural issues in civil and criminal proceedings
- Language barriers and the use of interpreters
- Juvenile justice issues
- Family law issues