Twitter

Texas County Swears In Record Number of Black Women Judges

Black women made history in Harris County, Texas as they were elected as judges with aspirations to change the face (and reach) of justice.

“The people said it was time for a change,” said Germaine Tanner, one of the women elected.

“We can lead here in Harris County. We can lead in the state of Texas,” LaShawn Williams said.

“For black women particularly, we take a seat at the table and things change. For us in this situation it will change in terms of criminal justice reform, health care, these are the kinds of cases that will come before us and really impact our community.”

Harris County now has a total of 19 Black women serving as judges — 17 are first timers and two ran for re-election.

On Jan. 1, Black Girl Magic happened and they were sworn in:

Who the judges are: Sandra Peake, Judge Ramona Franklin, Germaine Tanner, Angela Graves-Harrington, Cassandra Hollerman, Tonya Jones, Dedra Davis, LaShawn A. Williams, Latosha Lewis Payne, Linda M. Dunson, Toria J. Finch, Erica Hughes, Lucia G. Bates, Ronnisha Bowman, Michelle Moore, Sharon Burney, Shannon Baldwin and Lori Chambers Gray.

Harris County, Houston’s home and the largest county in Texas, which has a 63 percent Black and Latino population, had the largest turn-out at the polls for midterms in the county’s history.

There were some voting issues, as also recorded in states like Georgia and Florida, where technology issues resulted in a suit by Texas Civil Rights Project and Texas Organizing Project to keep polls open later, avoiding disenfranchisement.

Additionally, there were outright attempts to suppress the Black vote, including a Harris County poll worker who told a Black voter, “Maybe if I’d worn my blackface makeup today you could comprehend what I’m saying to you.”

When the voter said she was going to call the police, the poll worker responded: “If you call the police, they’re going to take you to jail and do something to you, because I’m white.”

She was subsequently fired, and voters made their voices heard in an election that featured more Black women on Harris County’s ballot than any other.

The newly elected judges will make decisions in the county, where 80 percent of the inmates are people of color.

Although judges are not the only ones at fault for racial disparities in sentencing, they can change the status quo. They set the tone in the courtroom and can make sure everyone gets a fair hearing.

“We talked about coming in and being more compassionate,” Ms. Latosha Lewis Payne said of her newly elected colleagues.

“Being more understanding of the poor and disadvantaged that come into the judicial system.”She added, “I hope that our election will usher in courts that ensure an equal opportunity for justice for all.”

Reader Question: What issues do you think these women can tackle as a collective

Latest News

Accenture Technology Vision 2020: From Tech-Clash to Trust, the Focus Must Be on People

Originally posted on Accenture.com To compete and succeed in a world where digital is everywhere, companies need a new focus on balancing “value” with “values,” aligning their drive to create business value with their customers’ and employees’ values and expectations, according to Accenture Technology Vision 2020. The 20th edition of Accenture’s…

AbbVie to Present at the SVB Leerink 9th Annual Global Healthcare Conference

Originally posted on AbbVie.com AbbVie, a research-based global biopharmaceutical company, will participate in the SVB Leerink 9th Annual Global Healthcare Conference on Tuesday, February 25.  Michael Severino, M.D., vice chairman and president and Robert A. Michael, executive vice president and chief financial officer, will present at 9:30 a.m. Central time. A live audio webcast…

TIAA Logo

TIAA: Howard University Event Focused on Solving Financial Challenges, Building Economic Strength of African American Community

Originally published on tiaa.org. TIAA and AARP sponsored event featured industry experts, including CBS National News Correspondent, Michelle Miller. On January 31, Howard University convened an important event focused on enhancing the economic strength and financial wellness of African Americans. The event, sponsored by TIAA and AARP, brought together industry…

Worldwide Olympic Partner Dow Announces 5M Tonnes CO2e Greenhouse Gas Emission Reductions Verified From its Carbon Programs

Originally posted on Dow.com Initiatives with the organizing committees of Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016 and the IOC enabled carbon reductions in areas such as infrastructure, reforestation, manufacturing and packaging projects Following the completion of annual third-party verification, Dow announced the reduction of 655,000 tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) of…

Novartis — Build Trust With Society

Originally published on annualreview.novartis.com. We are making good progress on integrating ethics, access to medicine, global health and corporate responsibility into the core of our business strategy. In 2019, we pursued changes to strengthen governance; took steps to improve decision-making and reinforce our speak-up culture; further integrated access into how…

BASF Logo

BASF Partners to Development of Innovative Power Storage Technology

Originally posted on BASF.com BASF and JenaBatteries Cooperate in the Development of Innovative Power Storage Technology  Batteries for stationary storage of electricity from renewable energy sources JenaBatteries with the world’s first commercially available technology of this kind BASF supplies electrolyte from an industrially available amine JenaBatteries GmbH and BASF are…

Boeing to Highlight Partnerships, Sustainability and Innovation at 2020 Singapore Airshow

Originally published on Boeing.mediaroom.com. Boeing [NYSE: BA] will highlight its broad range of commercial and defense products, services and technologies at the 2020 Singapore Airshow, which runs February 11-16 at the Changi Exhibition Centre. The company’s presence and activities at the show will underscore its commitment to safety, global partnerships,…

Kaiser Permanente — Hawaii Medicare Plan Top 10 Performer Nationally

Originally published on about.kaiserpermanente.org. The National Committee for Quality Assurance Quality Compass report recognized Kaiser Permanente’s plan in Hawaii for several measures of quality care. Kaiser Permanente Hawaii’s Medicare plan performed in the top 10 nationally on several measures of quality care, according to the National Committee for Quality Assurance…