In our last post, we promised you more information about our 2017 initiatives and how you can participate. Here’s more about what is in store for statewide capacity building.
Our focus on statewide capacity for media advocacy reflects our belief that the most effective counterpart for the robust advocacy and support that Voices provides at the national level will be similarly robust capacities in each state. We envision statewide networks of advocates who coordinate across program boundaries to convey a unified narrative in the media about what civil legal aid is and why it matters.
We see this starting to happen in several states, and we’re excited to be part of their efforts. Shout-outs to Washington, Maryland, New Mexico, Arkansas, and Tennessee, where leaders of access to justice commissions and diverse organizations statewide have created infrastructure – committees, designated staff, workplans – to put media advocacy in service to specific funding and reform objectives. Leaders in Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Alaska, Louisiana and Wisconsin have recently asked Voices to work with them as they develop statewide communications and media outreach plans to fit their objectives.
In addition, court, bar and civil legal aid leaders will come together in seven states – Alaska, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota and New York –this year to design and implement system-wide solutions to the crisis of people without legal help in civil courts. Justice for All Project grants, funded by the Public Welfare Foundation and administered by the National Center for State Courts, support their action planning to implement the 2015 resolution of the U.S. Conference of Chief Justices calling for “meaningful access to justice for all.” At Voices, we eagerly anticipate the opportunities this process will present to tell a unified story that civil legal aid and accessible courts are essential to societal well-being and a future of justice for all.
Is your state interested in learning more about coordinated statewide media efforts? If so, please let us know.
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