The James D. St. Clair Court Education Project
Discovering Justice's mission is to prepare young people to value the justice system, realize the power of their own voices, and embrace civic responsibility by connecting classrooms and courtrooms.
Founded in 1998 with the support of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and the Boston Bar Foundation, Discovering Justice was incorporated as an independent nonprofit in 2001. Discovering Justice provides civic and justice education through innovative in-school, after-school, and courthouse field trip programs that teach elementary and middle school students about the justice system, the role of law in a democratic society, and the fundamental importance of good citizenship.
By placing a special emphasis on underserved communities, Discovering Justice's programs are changing students' lives and school climates. We teach children to use their voices to advocate for themselves and others through learning about democratic values, history, justice, and civic responsibility.
The Judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts desired the Moakley U.S. Courthouse to be a community center as well as a locus for the resolution of legal disputes. Discovering Justice forwards this mission by working directly with students to help them develop a sense of personal responsibility and respect for others, learning that they can make a difference in their lives and their communities. Of particular note, students who engage with our programs become cognizant of the value of their participation in society. We believe that in order for democracy to survive and flourish, children need to develop this knowledge from an early age.
Today, thanks to the efforts of hundreds of supporters and volunteers - Judges, lawyers, educators, business leaders, community members, students, and parents - more than 165,000 children and adults have taken part in Discovering Justice's interactive civic education programs. We are proud and privileged to work with these individuals to help strengthen our democracy by educating and inspiring the next generation.