The Illinois Supreme Court recently appointed Will County Judge David Garcia to its Committee on Equality.
Garcia, who presides in the 12th Judicial Circuit Court of Illinois, was appointed for his term on the committee through 2020, according to a news release.
He said the committee works to "educate and train" judges and attorneys about how to make the legal system more equal to individuals regardless of their race or gender.
"When you’re approaching the bench as a citizen, you want to identify with the person that’s on the bench," Garcia said. "You want to feel comfortable."
Garcia was the first Latino to be appointed as an associate judge, and later the first circuit judge, in Will County history. He won his seat for circuit judge in the 2018 election to fill the vacancy left by the retirement of Judge Daniel Rozak.
During his race in 2018, Garcia said increasing diversity among judges would be one of his main priorities as a circuit court judge.
The committee is comprised of 15 members and reports on the presence, severity and effects of bias on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, disability, cultural or socioeconomic status, or any other trait.