Racial Equity Statement of the Texas Access to Justice Commission

Monday, February 1, 2021
In The Media

The Texas Access to Justice Commission was created to increase the ability of all low-income Texans to meaningfully participate in the civil justice system and achieve a just result. We envision a justice system that is fair, accessible, transparent, and responsive to the needs and lived realities of the diverse communities it serves regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, faith, immigration status, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity, or financial resources.  

The ideal of “justice for all” demands that the Texas Access to Justice Commission and its partners achieve that vision in a way that establishes trust in our legal system by Black, Indigenous, Latino, and other communities of color that are disproportionately impacted by systemic discrimination, implicit biases, and poverty. The principle of justice also compels us to address the gender inequities that contribute to making single working mothers the largest demographic seeking assistance from legal aid providers in the state and to address access to justice among low-income LGBTQ individuals and persons with disabilities.

Low-income people cannot afford to hire lawyers. The Texas Access to Justice Commission remains committed to creating a legal system in which self-representation is a viable option for attaining a just result and in which representation by lawyers is expected whenever possible, especially whenever critical rights such as a person’s health, housing, livelihood, parental rights, or safety are threatened. To that end, the Commission will continue to collaborate with members of the judiciary, the legal community, the Texas Legislature, the public, legal aid programs, and other access to justice advocates to develop and promote public policy changes that ease the barriers to justice for all low-income individuals in all communities, including Black, Indigenous, Latino, and other communities of color that have endured a history of discrimination and have lost faith in our legal system.

We stand with those who are demanding change and working to create an equitable and inclusive future. We will do our part by continuing to work toward the goal of justice for all Texans in civil legal matters until that vision is realized and, in the words of the Reverend Martin Luther King, until “justice runs down like water.”

 

Please send media inquiries to: Trish McAllister, Executive Director, Trish.McAllister@TEXASATJ.ORG