The Spencer Williams Foundation for Judicial Independence was organized in 2000 by members of the Federal Judges Association under the laws of the State of Illinois. Judge Spencer Williams was a federal judge on the District Court for the Northern District of California and one of the founders of the FJA. The purpose of the Foundation is to promote respect for the law and an independent judiciary by providing financial support to educational programs that advance these goals.
The members of the Board of Directors include the following:
Judge Irene M. Keeley – President
Judge Sarah Barker – Vice-President
Judge Wiley Daniel – Treasurer
Jane R. Forde – Secretary
Judge Larry Piersol – Director
Judge Royal Furgeson (ret.) – Director
Judge John Walker – Director
Judge Ann Williams – Director
The Board of Directors meets annually to consider and approve grant applications consistent with the Foundation’s purpose. Since its inception in 2000, the Foundation has approved grants to numerous educational programs, including teacher workshops and summer school camps that focus on civics and social studies education. Examples of programs supported by Foundation grants include iCivics to fund training of teachers to implement a web-based educational project in social studies classrooms, and the Just the Beginning Foundation to support summer legal institutes and a law camp for diverse middle and high school students. In 2013, the Board approved a grant to the Iowa Council for the Social Studies for a teacher workshop, and a grant to the Just the Beginning Foundation for a program designed to educate diverse students about the judiciary and the rule of law in the United States.