Courthouse Journal Blog Post
Implicit Bias Training Now Available on Demand
During the 62nd Annual Conference the Clerks and Prosecuting Attorneys arranged a joint training for the duration of their Affiliate time. Although the training was hosted for clerks and prosecuting attorneys, it is available and relevant to the entire WACO membership.
Douglas County Clerk Tristen Worthen was one of the key leaders who organized the training. When asked if the training could be applied to other affiliate offices she stated “Yes. Each affiliate can use the implicit bias training to help expose their subconscious thinking and eliminate potential discriminatory behaviors.”
According to a Washington State University report “Unconscious (or implicit) biases are learned stereotypes that are automatic, unintentional, deeply ingrained, universal, and able to influence behavior. Unconscious bias training programs are designed to expose people to their unconscious biases, provide tools to adjust automatic patterns of thinking, and ultimately eliminate discriminatory behaviors.”
For many elected officials and local governments, discussion and training is one of the first steps to addressing larger issues within their offices and communities.
The Implicit Bais training focuses on the stereotypes that may affect individuals' understanding of behavioral actions and decisions in the unaware state of judgement. The training is effective in raising awareness of the existence of this implicit bias and how it may affect an individual's professional and leadership decisions.
When asked why this training was important, Douglas County Clerk Tristen Worthen responded by saying “Implicit Bias training is important to become more aware of our stereotypes and our attitudes toward people that are subconscious. We were very fortunate to have Judge Galvan and Judge Smith present on this topic. I now am more aware of my thought processes and I am looking at situations with a new light.”
The training was based on Implicit Bais and was led by the Honorable Judge Lori K. Smith and the Honorable Judge Veronica Galván.
Judge Smith was appointed by Governor Jay Inslee to the Court of Appeals in August 2018. Prior to her appointment, she was a King County Superior Court judge for over six years after having been a King County Superior Court commissioner for six years. While on the superior court, Judge Smith served as the Unified Family Court Chief Judge and served on various committees, including the Executive Committee, the Budget Committee and the Commissioner Selection Committee.
Judge Smith is currently the co-chair of the Minority and Justice Commission’s Education Committee and the co-chair of the Gender and Justice Commission’s Tribal and State Court Consortium. She is also on the CCYJ Judicial Advisory Board. Judge Smith has taught at Judicial College and has been a presenter at numerous judicial conferences and other CLE programs. In 2011, along with her fellow King County Superior Court commissioners, Judge Smith received the King County Washington Women Lawyers Judge of the Year Award.
Prior to her judicial career, Judge Smith was a senior deputy in the Family Support Division of the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and the managing attorney of the Kent office of that
Judge Galván joined the King County Superior Court bench on January 22, 2015.
She was the first member of her family to graduate from university, earning a bachelor's degree in sociology, with an emphasis in criminology, from Western Washington University and later a law degree from the University of Washington School of Law.
After graduating from law school, Judge Galvan practiced as an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Seattle. She then served as an Administrative Law Judge in the Office of Administrative Hearings from 2002 until 2007, when she was appointed to the Des Moines Municipal Court. During her tenure in Des Moines, she implemented the only Spanish-language traffic court in the State of Washington.
Judge Galvan has served as a faculty member for the Washington State Judicial College and was President of the District and Municipal Court Judges Association. Judge Galvan also teaches Spanish for lawyers at Seattle University School of Law. She received the Juez Exceptional award from the Latino Bar Association of Washington in 2014.