THE LEGACY OF JUSTICE INITIATIVES
In 2004, a group of civic leaders, lawyers, business owners and concerned citizens in North Carolina formed Justice Initiatives, Inc. (JI), a justice system organization (nonprofit). JI’s founders understood that the rule of law is the bedrock of our civilized society, that a healthy court system is critical to safeguarding this foundation and that the effective and efficient administration of justice is essential to a strong, prosperous and vibrant community.
Between 2004 and 2021, JI developed programming to address the deficits in the public’s understanding and appreciation for the rule of law and the role of courts in our republican form of government. JI demonstrated the inextricable connection between each individual’s and each community’s quality of life and the courts’ ability to fairly adjudicate legal rights. JI sought to ensure that the judicial branch received the funding it needed to provide timely access to justice for all and defend against policies that undermine the independence, fairness, or integrity of the courts. JI raised money to use as seed funding to initiate smarter and innovative judicial programs and services that built public trust and confidence in our courts and studied new ideas about justice and our courts with our academic partners.
JI’s mission was to educate the community about the court system and to advocate, support and advance its needs and interests.
JI’s vision was a court system that delivers the highest quality justice resulting in community trust and confidence.
JI’s purpose was:
• To educate and advocate regarding the needs of the court system within the State of North Carolina.
• To advance reforms related to the North Carolina Judicial Branch’s organization, structure and/or administration.
• To raise seed money to initiate smarter and innovative judicial programs and services within affiliated North Carolina judicial districts consistent with abilities and resources.
• To receive, hold and disburse funds donated by individuals, foundations, corporations, and governmental entities that are earmarked for particular offices, programs and/or services within affiliated North Carolina judicial districts.
JI was a volunteer-based organization that depended upon dedicated members of the community to help accomplish JI’s important work. Volunteers served in many different capacities: administration, marketing, social media, speakers bureau and staff for annual events and day-to-day activities. JI’s incredible boards of directors and longtime team members proudly promoted JI’s mission, vision, and purpose for almost two decades.
JI’s legacy will endure through the people, services, causes, policies, and entities it championed.
Unfortunately, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic brought severe and long-term disruption to the funding streams for JI, challenging the consistent delivery of services and execution of the organization’s mission. The JI Board of Directors reached an agreement to transition some of the organization’s core services, including CourtCalendar, to the Mecklenburg Bar Foundation (MBF). MBF graciously agreed to maintain CourtCalendar for the 26th Judicial District.