August 2022 President's Letter

Written by National Association of Women Judges|August 01, 2022|Monthly Update Archive

judge-e.-white.pngI hope you are all enjoying the Summer and getting a chance to enjoy life.
Even though many of you are on vacation, NAWJ has been busy. We hosted two more webinars. On July 20, “Pride and Pronouns” was hosted by the NAWJ LGBTQ Committee, featuring Jodi Cleesattle, Esq, Todd Brower with the UCLA Williams Institute, and Tristan E. H. Higgins, Esq. The panelists addressed the importance of gender identity and ensuring that litigants are addressed appropriately in the courtroom. Panelists stressed the importance of using the proper pronouns to make people comfortable in the stressful courtroom environment.  On July 28, we featured “Exploring the History of Bias Within the Child Welfare System and Seeking Solutions” sponsored by our Racial Equity Committee in collaboration with the Fairness and Access Committee featuring Judge Amy L. Nechtem, Judge Josephine Wiggs, Alice Kennedy MSW, and Judge Edwina G. Mendelson. The webinar covered the institutional history of the child welfare system and the negative impact such bias has on families of color.
Preparations are in full swing for the annual conference in Detroit to be held October 19-22. The educational components are finalized, entertainment is planned and money is being raised. It promises to be an amazing time.  Save by registering before August 31 with the Early Bird Special. The theme is “All Rise: Standing Up for Global Justice in the City that Moved the World.”  
Many of our members have been honored recently, among them, Judge Randa Trapp who received the ABA Presidential Appointment to the Commission on Women in the Profession. The Commission’s objective is to secure full and equal participation of women in the ABA, the profession, and the justice system. Congratulations Judge Trapp!  Judge Tanya Kennedy was awarded the Champion for Justice Award from the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Center for Elder Justice and the Award of Recognition from the New York Women’s Bar Association. Judge Emily Chafa was featured in Iowa Lawyer Magazine for her many speaking engagements and her work with the NAWJ Administrative Judiciary Committee.
Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson was sworn in as the first Black woman to serve on the United States Supreme Court on June 30. We are so very proud!
Our committees are busy and I’m proud to report that much progress is being made to achieve our goals. The Projects Committee has revised our program scripts and descriptions and made it easier for us to put on our renowned Color of Justice and Mentor Jet programs.
Our Women in Prison Committee is impacting women’s lives in rewarding ways. Judge Brenda Murray (ret.) reports that she received a letter from a woman who was at the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women for twenty-two years. NAWJ through the Maryland members, and with community volunteers, run a Book Club and Writing sessions called a "Women Moving Forward Day” for people being released from custody, and began a college degree program inside MCIW. Here’s a letter from a grateful beneficiary:
"Everyone here [Chrysalis House]] asks me how I did all that time [22 years] in prison and managed to come out so well rounded.  I tell them I had an amazing circle of friends, lots of support, college and book club. You ladies [and men] couldn't even imagine how much the programming you helped with changed our lives in there. I am endlessly grateful."
I can’t think of a more amazing tribute than this.
I look forward to attending the American Judges Association Conference on August 28-30 in Philadelphia, I will be in attendance as NAWJ’s representative and look forward to nourishing our relationship with this Association.
Thank you all for all you do for NAWJ and for working hard to further our strategic mission. Please let me hear from you with your ideas and concerns. 

Hon. Elizabeth A. White (ret.)
President, NAWJ

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