Courthouse Tours & Classroom Speakers

Hon. Adam Silvera with students from George Jackson Academy during their visit to his courtroom in 2017.
The New York State Unified Court System, through its Office of Public Affairs, is dedicated to increasing the public’s awareness and understanding of how the courts work. In cooperation with employees throughout the State, the Public Affairs staff engages in activities that promote public awareness about the judicial system.
For specific information on how to arrange a guided tour of local court facilities; or to request a speaker associated with the court system (including a judge) to visit your classrooms, you can arrange for a courtroom visit or classroom speaker.
Hon. Toko Serita, NYS Acting Supreme Court Justice and Presiding Judge of the Queens Human Trafficking Intervention Court, and Principal Court Attorney, Eric Fieldman, visited 11th and 12th graders at Bard High School Early College Queens for a guest lecture on January 13, 2023 in our Judith S. Kaye Teaching Fellow Shreya Mandal’s course Community Activism and the Courts: Conflict and Collaboration.
Here is what students had to say when Hon. Toko Serita, NYS Acting Supreme Court Justice and Presiding Judge of the Queens Human Trafficking Intervention Court, visited their classroom in 2023!

When Professor Mandal invited Judge Toko Serita to class it blew my mind. It was really cool to learn about human trafficking and trafficking court. Both of them live and work in my community, and so it meant a lot to talk about social issues that directly impact my people. I was impressed.


I enjoyed the guest speakers coming in as it shed more light on the topics that we covered. I thought that their presence was important to my learning as it showed me that these topics do indeed exist and are widespread and what they did specifically to combat the issues they faced.


Additionally [listening to] Judge Toko Serita specifically, it was enlightening to hear how a POC woman harnessed her passion for human rights issues to make a difference in the justice system.


Looking at the history of the New York Courts with Hon. Toko Serita and Eric Fieldman, brought to light many realistic ways of tackling issues that the courts have, and many idealistic misconceptions about the courts that people tend to have, like the court being able to play ‘God’ and being an absolute savior, when that is not always the case. These guest speakers were very insightful, and I’m interested in learning more about these subjects in the future.

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