I had my first civilian jury duty last week. I WANTED to serve, although just for a short case, and that’s exactly what happened. I haven’t been able to format my experience in a way that fits this space but I know it was vastly different from the other jurors because of how we responded to the information we were give.
The trail reinforced for me the need to have defendants judged by their peers. And since we live in a country that incarcerates black and brown people at 5.1 and 1.4 (respectively) times the rate of whites, to me, that means more people of color need to be in the jury box.
I participated in a lovely Veteran’s Appreciation ceremony hosted by VISION Outreach afterschool program. The elementary school age children choose the ceremony as their November project, they did most of the speaking and their enthusiasm was contagious.
They were excited to recognize the service of the veterans on hand and we were appreciative of the appreciation.
I reminded them that they too can serve our country in ways that allow them to use their talents. I encouraged them to take their citizenship seriously and learn about the things that they can do to make our country more inclusive, more compassionate and more welcoming to all Americans.