We will publish a series of posts, to help other grassroots organizations with the fight against bias in their local court system. If this series gets traction, we’ll publish more information so hat other activism groups don’t have to “reinvent the wheel”, so to speak.
That being said, the first thing you need, to wage this war against bias, is a core group of people with complementary skill sets.
While there is strength in numbers, and having a large group helps when it’s time to reach out to community organizations, gather signatures for petitions, and arrange talks with influential groups, a core group of people will function like a small team, working together in a finely tuned way, for optimal effectiveness.
To be effective, you can’t SOLELY have a group of mothers, you’ll need alliances with:
- Community advocates
- Law enforcement
- Elected officials
- Complementary non-profit agencies
- Investigative reporters
You cannot win this battle alone.
For logistical purposes, you’ll need:
- One or more websites that serve as a central repository for publishing information
- A vetted, secret Facebook group where you carefully screen members (opposing parties will send moles into your Facebook groups)
- Private communication channels, such as encrypted apps, Slack or other methods of communicating back and forth. If you use Facebook Messenger, use it in encrypted mode.
- A telephone number, with a fax like
- A method for distributing email. Mailchimp and many other email programs have a free tier
You’ll need to present a united, organized front, with a clear and concise goal. One of the things that allows the court to get away with bias is that the female litigants are often traumatized by their experience in family court and many have PTSD. This means that many mothers won’t be particularly effective in assisting with core advocacy efforts because it’s a triggering experience.
You’ll need to cast a wide net to recruit the larges possible group, and filter for skills from that point, to make sure you have people to fill all the roles you’ll need:
- One or more writers to create all your content, press releases and other documentation
- One or more technical persons to manage email, websites and social media
- One or more persons with an in-depth understanding of the legal process, it’s helpful if this person is an attorney, paralegal or court employee
- One or more persons to engage in outreach, this person will end up being publicly identifiable and needs to be bold enough to withstand having their name and likeness attached to the cause
- One or more persons to manage media outreach and public relations
- One or more persons to act as a “wrangler” and keep track of all the litigants, their stores and “rally the troops” when the time arises
- One or more persons experienced in domestic violence advocacy, when has strong ties with local DV agencies
As you can see, it takes a village. But that village is necessary when you’re up against people who are powerful and don’t want to use the money, power and prestige that comes along with it.
Remember: you are fighting for what’s good, what’s right, and most importantly, what’s in the best interests of the children: a fair and unbiased Court.
Until next time…