Justice G. Helen Whitener Spoke to UWT Students, Faculty, and Staff on January 12, 2021
February 2, 2021
Justice G. Helen Whitener spoke on campus on January 12, 2021. This article provides a link to the recording of the event.
On Tuesday, January 12, 2021, Washington State Supreme Court Justice G. Helen Whitener appeared on the University of Washington Tacoma's virtual campus to lead a talk about her experience in rising to her title in a system that often pushes against the success of those who hold similar identities to her own. Justice Whitener is the first Black woman to serve on the Washington Supreme Court, the fourth immigrant-born Justice, and the first openly Black Gay judge in the State of Washington; and these identities and the differences of perspective they provide are crucial for a representative and fair justice system. Furthermore, Justice Whitener responses to real-time questions submitted by faculty, staff, and students in attendance. Make sure to tune in to hear her advice.
This event was a partnership between the Student Activities Board (SAB), Legal Pathways, the Center for Equity & Inclusion, and the Center for Student Involvement. All parties, including Justice Whitener, believed it was eseential for folks who were unable to attend the night of still have the opportunity to watch, learn, and have access to materials discussed!
For access to the video recording, please click here.
If you have any questions, comments, or requests for further materials, please contact Steve Ayden, Student Activities Specialist at firstname.lastname@example.org
Justice G. Helen Whitener Bio:
Justice G. Helen Whitener served as a Pierce County Superior Court judge until her appointment to the Washington State Supreme Court in April of 2020, and that made her the VERY FIRST black woman to serve on that court.
Governor Jay Inslee appointed her to the Pierce County Superior Court in 2015 and she was elected to her position in 2015 and was re-elected to a full term in 2016.
Justice Whitener is well recognized by the legal community for her commitment to justice and equity.
In 2020, Justice Whitener received Washington Women Lawyers Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst Passing the Torch Award and she received the International Association of LGBTQ+ Judges President’s Award. In 2019, Justice Whitener was awarded the Washington State Bar Association’s Charles Z. Smith Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award, the King County Washington Women Lawyers President’s Award, the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association Service to Diversity Award, and the Seattle University School of Law and Women’s Law Caucus Woman of the Year Award. In 2018, Justice Whitener received the Pierce County Washington Women Lawyers Woman of the Year Award
Justice Whitener is the first Black woman to serve on the Washington Supreme Court, the fourth immigrant-born Justice, and the first openly Black Gay judge in the State of Washington.
Prior to her appointment to the Washington Supreme Court, she served as Pierce County’s Superior Court Judge as both prosecutor and defense attorney.