For immediate release: October 28, 2005
For further information contact:
Trial Court Administrator's Office
Jude Del Preore or Donna Mazzanti
Superior Court of New Jersey
49 Rancocas Road
Mount Holly, New Jersey 08060
BURLINGTON COURTS CELEBRATE DIVERSITY
MOUNT HOLLY - Burlington County's chief judge, John A. Sweeney, opened the court's first annual celebration of Diversity Day. The theme for this celebration was "Diversity is the S.P.I.C.E. of Life." The acronym stands for Similarities, People, Ideologies, Culture and Ethnicity. Judge Sweeney explained to those in attendance that this celebration links closely to one of the major tenets of the New Jersey Judiciary's Vision Statement. Our courts must.."provide equal access to a fair and effective system of justice for all. .with sensitivity to an increasingly diverse society."
Judge Sweeney and Court Administrator Jude Del Preore teamed up to explain the importance of this event. "Our country, our county and our court are all so rich in their cultural diversity. This diversity exists in art, music, fashion and food, but we do not often take the time to recognize it and celebrate it. Diversity Day gives us a platform for people of different backgrounds to come together to share thoughts, experiences, talents and knowledge. This becomes the mosaic that is the Burlington Judiciary."
The court is using this event as a springboard to embark upon a one year exploration of diversity. This effort is directed to court employees as a way to heighten cultural awareness and foster a respect for different races, genders, religions, sexual orientations and individuals with disabilities.
Court staff prepared special foods and there were other musical and arts related presentations. Bagpipes, Indian folk songs and African stories set the tone for the day. There was also a special presentation of"Servicios Latinos," a community-based program for Hispanics based in Mount Holly.
Judge Sweeney thanked the Court's Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action Advisory Committee for their hard work in planning the day. Special acknowledgments went to committee chairs Donald Rucker and Deborah Edwards and all the staff that contributed their time and talents to make the program a success. Felechia Slater, a Family Division Probation Officer, designed the poster that will be displayed throughout the courthouse complex.