In an effort to encourage girls and young women to consider a career in the law, Pierce County’s Superior Court is hosting the National Association of Women Judges, Color of Justice Program, on Aug. 17, 2017.
The one-day event seeks to encourage girls, aged 11-18 years old, to consider a career in the law and the judiciary. The program features time for the girls to meet, participate with, and observe the legal process through the eyes of female members of the judiciary. More than 80 girls from across Western Washington are registered to attend.
Pierce County Superior Court Judge G. Helen Whitener has championed and coordinated the event to connect girls from marginalized communities to female judges who can mentor and empower them. Judge Whitener, who emigrated from Trinidad & Tobago and is a member of the LGBTQ community, has been nationally recognized for her work to bring greater diversity to the judiciary.
“It is important that we create a space to foster diversity in all of its forms,” said Judge Whitener. “To the extent that diversity is not reflected in our legal system, we need to create it. That’s why I’m focused on engaging the next generation of future judges.”
More than 20 women judges from Western Washington will participate as speakers, panelists and mentors. They represent city, county, state, federal and tribal courts. Supreme Court Justice Mary Yu will be giving the keynote address titled, “How Someone Like Me Became a Justice.”
The National Association of Women Judges (NAWJ) created the original Color of Justice Event and hosts similar events across the United States.
About National Association of Women Judges
Since its formation in 1979, NAWJ has inspired and led the American judiciary in achieving fairness and equality for vulnerable populations.
NAWJ’s mission is to promote the judicial role of protecting the rights of individuals under the rule of law through strong, committed, diverse judicial leadership; fairness and equality in the courts; and equal access to justice.
Members of NAWJ are engaged in projects and judicial education that addresses human trafficking/modern day slavery; voter education in states with judicial elections; conditions for women in prison; problems facing immigrants in our court system; bioethics; outreach to students about legal and judicial careers, among others.
About Pierce County Superior Court
Pierce County Superior Court is the second largest Superior Court in the State of Washington and is proud to serve the citizens and visitors of Pierce County. The Court is staffed with 22 Judges and 8 Commissioners. There are three sites where court is held: the County-City Building at 930 Tacoma Ave. S., Remann Hall Juvenile Court at 5501 6th Ave. in Tacoma, and Western State Hospital at 9601 Steilacoom Blvd. SW in Lakewood. For more information, please visit our website at http://co.pierce.wa.us/superiorcourt.
Chris Gaddis, Superior Court Administrator