The Board of Directors of the Delaware Bar Foundation is pleased to announce its grant awards through the FY2021 Community Grants program. Funds were awarded to The Warehouse for its F*(ollow) The Law Program.
The Warehouse is a state of the art teen center located in Northeast Wilmington, and a service entity of the WRK (The Warehouse, REACH Riverside and Kingswood Community Center) Group. Teen members consider, evaluate and decide which programs will be offered to their peers within the center. The F*(ollow) The Law program teaches teens how to engage safely and productively with the police. From a traffic stop to encountering a police officer in the neighborhood, the program educates teens about their rights and responsibilities while guiding them on how to avoid any escalation of the encounter. Brian Alleyne, a former Wilmington police officer along with Daniel Logan, a federal prosecutor, walk the teens through various scenarios with role play to show how reactions & actions can be misinterpreted or unwittingly escalate the situation. The Foundation is proud to support The Warehouse and this program which matches the Foundation’s mission to foster knowledge of rights and responsibilities and promote respect for the rule of law.
The Foundation is also proud to support a summer book study of the Young Adult version of Just Mercy, the New York Times bestseller by Bryan Stevenson that details his founding of the Equal Justice Initiative and its efforts to defend those wrongly convicted. Offered by the Bryan A. Stevenson School of Excellence, an emerging charter high school located in Sussex County, the teacher-guided, book study program will be available to students aged 13-18 in Sussex County. Over the course of four weeks, small groups of students will gather weekly to discuss conversation topics and tackle the content of the book. The Foundation is pleased to make this grant award that relates to improving the administration of justice and provides support to a school in Sussex County serving an underserved population.
Earlier this fiscal year, the Board of Directors awarded funds to Community Legal Aid Society, Inc. to provide trial advocacy training to public interest attorneys. In 2021, Delaware has just 45 civil legal aid attorneys available to address all of the civil legal needs of Delawareans living in poverty. This program will provide a three-day training of basic advocacy skills for 24 civil legal aid attorneys with less than ten years of experience. In partnership with the National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA), the program will include opening statements, closing statements, direct and cross examination, impeaching witness and introducing evidence. The Foundation is pleased to assist in offering this program.
In the fall of 2020, the Foundation’s Board of Directors approved a grant of funds to the Delaware Center for Justice for its expungement program. The grant award will pay for the application expenses of previously justice-involved, needy Delawareans. Thus far, funds have been used for record requests, obtaining fingerprints and completing applications for expungement or pardons. The process is arduous, intimidating and expensive to obtain court records. The Foundation is pleased to support this effort by covering application expenses.
For more information about the community grants program of the Delaware Bar Foundation, please visit www.delawarebarfoundation.org.