Episode 14: Black Like Me: Adding Color to Our Highest Courts

Juvaria Khan is the founder and executive director of The Appellate Project, a non-profit that strives to empower law students of color to not only work, but thrive in the appellate field. Appellate courts, (also referred to as the court of appeals), review cases that have been appealed to ensure that the initial proceedings were fair and the proper law was applied correctly. These are the highest courts in our nation that make decisions on all aspects of our lives, including healthcare, religion and policing. As you can imagine, communities of color are often disproportionately impacted by many of the rulings that are made due to a lack of diversity within these spaces. In this episode, Latasha Rouseau, executive director of Sapelo Square, speaks with Juvaria about the flaws of the appellate court system but also the opportunities that exist to change its racial makeup, including the lane she has created to lead the way. As you listen, you will realize that Juvaria is no joke. She is knowledgeable and passionate about ensuring that the persons making decisions in our highest courts reflect the people they represent. As we commemorate Black August and honor the political prisoners, activists and freedom fighters, past and present, let us also remember and highlight the persons within our courts fighting to protect the freedoms of those putting their lives on the line so that justice is served to all. 

To find out more about the The Appellate Project or learn ways that you can support this amazing organization, visit www.theappellateproject.org.



Juvaria Khan is the founder and executive director of the Appellate Project, which is a non profit organization that seeks to empower law students of color to thrive in the appellate field. Juvaria’s interest in the law stems from her passion for civil rights advocacy. After clerking for the Honorable Michael P. Shea in the District Court of the District of Connecticut, Juvaria worked at the law firm of Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP, where she maintained a heavy pro bono practice focusing on racial and religious discrimination claims. She then served as a Senior Staff Attorney at Muslim Advocates, where she successfully combined litigation and public campaign strategies in cases ranging from public accommodation claims to religious land use lawsuits. Juvaria received her B.A. in Political Science and Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies from New York University and her J.D. from Columbia Law School, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. She is a member of the Edward Coke Appellate Inn of Court and former president of the Capital Area Muslim Bar Association. In recognition of her work, Juvaria has received the Echoing Green Fellowship, Roddenberry Fellowship, American Express NGen Fellowship, the South Asian Bar Association of DC’s Public Sector Trailblazer Award, and the Asian American Bar Association of DC’s Community Appreciation Award.

On the Square theme music was created by Fanatik OnBeats
Artwork was created by Scheme of Things Graphics
“On the Square” a special podcast brought to you by Sapelo Square in collaboration with The Maydan.


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