To mark Black History Month at Roosevelt House, join a distinguished panel of black women jurists on Wednesday, February 23, for a discussion of the appointment of judges, on every level of the judiciary, who are representative of all Americans. In this historic moment, our conversation will address the importance of maintaining a judiciary that reflects the diversity of American life.

Moderated by Dr. Basil A. Smikle Jr, Director of the Roosevelt House Public Policy Program, the program will feature Hon. Erika Edwards, State Supreme Court, New York County, Civil Term; Hon. Jeanine R. Johnson, NYC Civil Court in Bronx County; Hon. Tanya R. Kennedy, Appellate Division, First Department, Supreme Court of the State of New York; and Hon. Malaika Scott-McLauglin, Housing Court Judge.

Speaker Bios:

Hon. Erika Edwards was elected to the NYC Civil Court for Manhattan in 2011. In 2016 she was elected to the State Supreme Court. She is currently serving in the New York County, Civil Term, where she presides over a variety of civil matters and specializes in medical malpractice cases. She previously served as a Judge in the New York County Criminal Term and New York City Criminal Courts. She graduated from Penn State University and the Howard University School of Law.

Hon. Jeanine R. Johnson assumed the bench in 2019 upon election to the Civil Court of the City of New York (10th MCD, Harlem). Judge Johnson was first assigned to the Bronx Criminal Court, where she presided over misdemeanor matters in an All-Purpose Part. Prior to being elected in 2018, she served as Principal Court Attorney to the Hon. Geoffrey Wright and for over 12 years as General Counsel & Chief of Staff to two senior members of the New York State Legislature. Judge Johnson is a graduate of SUNY Buffalo and Howard University School of Law.

Hon. Tanya R. Kennedy is an Associate Justice of the State’s Appellate Division, First Department. Prior to her appointment in July 2020, she served as a Justice of the Supreme Court, New York County and as Supervising Judge of the county’s Civil Court.  She serves on the Board of Directors of the New York City Bar Association, the Board of Overseers of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law (where she received her law degree), and the Advisory Board of Penn State Law. Justice Kennedy is a former Adjunct Professor at Fordham University of Law, where she taught a Juvenile Justice seminar for 10 years, and is a Past President of the National Association of Women Judges. She received her undergraduate degree from Penn State.

Hon. Malaika Scott-McLauglin is a Housing Court Judge. She was appointed by Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence K. Marks in 2019 and presently sits in Bronx County Housing Court. She received her Juris Doctor from Pace University Elisabeth Haub School of Law and her Bachelor of Arts from Sarah Lawrence College. She is a member of the Bar of the State of New York and the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Prior to becoming a Housing Court Judge, she was an Associate Attorney for the Honorable Anne Katz, the Supervising Judge of the New York County Housing Court.

Dr. Basil A. Smikle Jr. is Distinguished Lecturer and Director of the Public Policy Program at the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College. He was appointed by former Governor David Paterson to serve as the Executive Director of the New York State Democratic Party during the 2016 presidential cycle where he was the “second highest ranking Democrat” in the State. He holds a Ph.D. in Politics and Education and an MPA from Columbia University and received a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University.

Please Click here to join the program via Zoom.

Representation and Justice: African-American Women in the Judiciary | Posted on February 14th, 2022 | Public Policy Program Events, Public Programs