- Judge G. Helen Whitener has become the first-ever African American woman appointed to Washington State’s Supreme Court
- Judge Helen Whitener was appointed in April 2020
- Whitener is celebrated for her commitment to justice and equity
Judge G. Helen Whitener has engraved her name in history after she became the first-ever African American appointed to Washington State’s Supreme Court.
The trailblazing African American woman attained this accomplishment in April 2020.
Washington governor Jay Inslee made the appointment and said:
'Today, I’m honoured to appoint Judge G. Helen Whitener to the WA State Supreme Court.
"She has distinguished herself in many ways during her career, but none more than as a fierce advocate for justice and equity in WA."
According to blackhistory.com before becoming a judge, she litigated criminal cases for 14 years as both a prosecutor and defence attorney.
Whitener is celebrated for her commitment to justice and equity.
She served as co-chair of the Washington State Minority and Justice Commission and as a member of the Civil Legal Aid Oversight Committee.
She continues to garner recognition for her work to advance the cause of justice.
In 2019, she was awarded the Washington State Bar Association’s C.Z. Smith Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award, the King County Washington Women Lawyers President Award, the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association’s Diversity Award and the Seattle University School of Law’s Woman of the Year Award.
Watch video below.
Judge Whitener is very active locally, nationally, and internationally and speaks often on human rights, access to justice, and the rights and responsibility of the judiciary in ensuring the rights of all that appear before the court to basic dignity and respect in judicial proceedings.
Originally from Trinidad, Whitener moved to the United States as a teenager to attend college.
Whitener earned her bachelor’s degree from Baruch College in New York, and her law degree from Seattle University School of Law.
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