The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism is pleased to announce that Julia Roundtree Livingston has joined the organization as Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Manager.
In this role, Livingston will lead the Commission’s education and advocacy initiatives aimed at promoting DEI in Illinois’ legal and justice systems.
Prior to joining the Commission, Livingston was Executive Director of Macon County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), which provides court-appointed volunteers to advocate for abused, neglected, and/or dependent children who are involved in the Macon County juvenile court system. She was appointed to this role in 2018.
“On behalf of the Commission, I am pleased to welcome Julia as our DEI Manager,” said Martin Sinclair, Chair of the Commission on Professionalism. “Through her work at Macon County CASA, she has established strong connections in the Illinois legal community and a unique understanding of the challenges of those using and working within our court system, especially the most vulnerable and traditionally excluded. These skills will be valuable as we advance the Illinois Supreme Court’s mission of fostering a commitment to the elimination of bias and divisiveness in the legal and judicial systems.”
At CASA, Livingston led a sustainable nonprofit with multiple streams of funding while educating the community on the need for CASA’s services. This included working with local lawyers and judges to organize trainings for CASA volunteers, regularly communicating with legal and judicial professionals about CASA’s capabilities, and presentations to the Decatur Bar Association on CASA’s work.
During her time at CASA, she grew the organization’s impact by increasing the number of community volunteers who became advocates as well as the number of children that CASA serves. In 2021, Livingston led Macon County CASA in expanding its services into a second county, DeWitt County.
In addition to her role at CASA, Julia was a member of the Illinois CASA Equity Task Force, the Illinois CASA/Children Advocacy Centers Task Force, and the CWAC (Child Welfare Advisory Committee) on Racial Equity led by the Illinois Department of Children & Family Services.
“Julia’s work alongside the Macon and DeWitt County court systems, her background teaching in higher education, and her experience promoting equity align remarkably well with the Commission’s goal of using education to promote more diverse and inclusive legal and judicial systems,” said Erika Harold, Executive Director of the Commission on Professionalism. “Julia has established herself as a talented advocate for an effective justice system in Central Illinois and beyond. I am delighted to welcome her to the Commission.”
Before joining CASA, Livingston was the Director of Development at Baby TALK, an educational non-profit in Decatur, Illinois, and an English professor at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Florida State University, and Richland Community College.
“I am thrilled to join the Commission on Professionalism,” said Livingston. “Through my work at CASA, I had the opportunity to interact with lawyers, judges, and others in the justice system. I look forward to using my passion for promoting a more inclusive, civil, and effective justice system in my new role, and to taking it one step further, advocating for these principles among the lawyers, law students, and other legal professionals of our state.”
Livingston received an ABD (all but dissertation) in African American Literature and U.S. Literature Since 1865 from Florida State University and a master’s and bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, where she was a 4-year letter winner in cross country and indoor/outdoor track.
She is a member of the Diversity & Education Leadership Team at the Maroa-Forsyth School District and founder of Discourse on Racial Difference: A Macon County Book Club, which has 600 members statewide.
About the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism
The Illinois Supreme Court established the Commission on Professionalism under Supreme Court Rule 799 to promote integrity, professionalism, and civility among the lawyers and judges of Illinois, to foster a commitment to the elimination of bias and divisiveness within the legal and judicial systems, and to ensure those systems provide equitable, effective, and efficient resolution of problems for the people of Illinois.
The Commission achieves this mission through professional responsibility CLE, lawyer-to-lawyer mentoring, legal professionalism programming, educational resources, and more. To learn more, visit 2Civility.org and follow us on Twitter @2CivilityOrg.
Laura Bagby, Communications Director