Justice Whitener was privately sworn in via Zoom so her family could observe the special occasion from afar.
Judge Whitener kicked off WA State Health Care Authority (HCA) Black History Month Celebration titled: African Americans and the VOTE. The event was a celebration of Black Culture and commemoration of the journey to voting rights.
Judge Whitener was the Keynote Speaker for the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association’s 112th Annual Lincoln Day Banquet attended by over 300 judges and attorneys from both Federal and State Courts. The Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association is an association of lawyers and is located in the city of Tacoma in Pierce County
Judge G. Helen Whitener was the Keynote Speaker at the Washington Defense Trial Lawyers South Sound Judicial Dinner.
Judge Whitener and Judge Veronica Alicea-Galvan (King County Superior Court) taught this year's incoming class of Judicial Officers at Judicial College.
Washington State held its 2020 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Summit and it was another resounding success with over 1,000 participants. Judge Whitener taught a morning and afternoon session titled "Creating a More Inclusive Work Environment" to government leaders.
Judge Whitener visited met and spoke with students who were doing projects on influential people who have made positive impacts on Tacoma. Judge Whitener surprised the students by appearing in person.
Judge Whitener had the honor of swearing in City of Fife Council member Bryan Yambe, who has served on the council since 2013.
Washington State Coalition for Language Access (WASCLA) is an organization consisting of legal professionals, advocates, law enforcement personnel, interpreters/translators, educators, service providers, advocates and community members who are dedicated to assisting state and local agencies within the State of Washington to understand and comply with their obligations under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. WASCLA Promotes Collaborations to Ensure Language Access for Limited English Proficient Individuals in Washington State.
The Washington State Bar Association (WSBA) gives this year’s Charles Z Smith Excellence in Diversity APEX Award to Judge Whitener for her significant contribution to diversity in the legal profession. APEX stands for Acknowledging Professional Excellence. The awards honor legal luminaries across the state who champion justice, act with integrity and professionalism, and serve the public and their communities through the rule of law.
Judge Whitener and Judge Veronica Alicea-Galvan (King county Superior court) presented at a workshop for 1st year law students at Gonzaga Law School.
THE THURSTON COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION IS MAKING A COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY. JUDGE WHITENER PRESENTED AT THEIR HALF-DAY CONTINUING LEGAL EDUCATION SEMINAR.
The International Association of IALGBT* Judges conference kicked off in conjunction with the Lavender Law conference. The kickoff reception was held in the beautiful Philadelphia City Hall and the organization's President Judge Dan Anders hosted the event which included a tour of his courtroom.
Washington Women Lawyers, King County Chapter presented Judge Whitener with their President's Award. The award is presented to an individual whose success story is a testament to the rewards of hard work and determination.
Judge Whitener opened the 27th Annual Pennsylvania Permanency Conference held June 12-14, 2019, at the Kalahari Resorts & Conventions in the Pocono Mountains. Judge Whitener’s keynote speech, "Adoptions: Transcending Differences," discussed the importance of understanding implicit and explicit bias, cultural competency and why diversity, equity and inclusion are important in the adoption process. Additionally, Judge Whitener gave a Teen Keynote Presentation that was meant to inspire and encourage young children to embrace their differences while pursuing their dreams. The Permanency Conference provided an opportunity for families and professionals from all aspects of the child welfare system to participate in 43 workshops and institutes addressing a variety of topics regarding permanency for children.
The conference theme was "Excellence in Every Direction." The vision of the Attorney General Office is to have a work culture centered around core values of integrity, professionalism and civility. Judge Whitener incorporated those values in her speech. The conference recognizes, trains, educates and gives co-workers from across the state an opportunity to see and interact with each other. In attendance were 600 + professional staff at the AGO, to include everyone from Office assistants, to paralegals, IT, HR, Investigators and Finance and Executive Management.
Judge Whitener co-chairs the WA State Minority & Justice Commission with WA Supreme Court Justice Mary Yu. The Commission’s 2019 Supreme Court Symposium was titled "Artificial Intelligence: A Critical Review of its Use in Public Decision-Making". The symposium explored the use of artificial intelligence in various public decision-making settings, including policing and the justice system.
Judge Whitener presented with Judge Andrea Darvas (King County Superior Court) and Judge David Estudillo (Grant County Superior Court) an Ethics session titled “Upholding the Canons – Off and On the Bench at the Superior Court Judges’ Association 2019 Spring Conference.
The Forum brought middle school and high school students together with different members of the criminal justice system to spend the day at Gonzaga University Law School. There were breakout sessions on “Know Your Rights, Drug Addictions, Crime Prevention and Resilience.” The Forum was co-sponsored by the Washington State Minority & Justice Commission, Excelsior Wellness Center and Gonzaga University School of Law.
JUDGE WHITENER RECEIVES SEATTLE UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW, WOMEN'S LAW CAUCUS 2019 WOMAN OF THE YEAR AWARD
The Woman of the Year Award recognizes an accomplished leader who is committed to women’s issues and is a role model for women across the state. The event was co-sponsored by Seattle University School of Law, Seattle University Women’s Law Caucus, Pierce County Washington Women Lawyers, King County Washington Women Lawyers, and the Washington Women Lawyers Foundation.
Judge Whitener’s Lincoln High School Street Law Class of 35 students visited Pierce County Superior Court and met with Judges from Superior Court, District Court, and Tacoma Municipal Court. They also met and conversed with commissioners, attorneys and various members of the court’s staff.
WLI, panel discuss "Sexual Orientation and the Legal Profession." The Panelist were Beth Bloom, Judge Anne Levinson Ret., attorney David Ward, attorney Dana Savage and Judge Whitener
RAIN is a Washington State LGBTQ+ Employees’ Business Resource Group. The work the group is tasked with is very similar to that of many of WA court commissions. RAIN is charge with increasing awareness and action to improve the employee experience by creating respectful, inclusive and intrinsically motivating work environments where employees can thrive.
Judge Whitener invited WA State Attorney General, Senior Investigator Franklin, Pierce County Corrections Officers, Deputy Rankin and Deputy Oeltjen; and City of Tacoma Police Officer Kelly, to participate in her Lincoln High School Street Law Class.
Judge Whitener teaches Street Law at Lincoln High School and this morning she was honored to have Judge Karl Williams who sits on the Pierce County District Court present to her class of seniors.
The Award is given to an individual or agency that has shown dedicated commitment to enhancing and promoting diversity within the legal profession and the Pierce County community.
Washington State Diversity Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Council hosted this year’s Summit. The Summit aimed to advanced DEI in public service by building community and competency among DEI professionals and leaders. The conference included presentations from multiple disciplines, including Washington State leadership. The audience included 600 attendees from Washington State executive leadership, business resource group members, human resource partners, and DEI practitioners. There was a Fireside Chat with Lt. Governor Cyrus Habib; Dr. Shakti Butler presented on Empathy, Privilege, and Radical Imagination. Breakout Sessions in the afternoon were presented by Felecia Caldwell and Dr. Andrea Ramirez, City of Seattle; Mansoor Shams; Mark Adreon, Department of Services for the Blind and Secretary John Wiesman, Department of Health closed out the Summit.
Judge Whitener presented on Implicit Bias and Jury Selection under General Rule (GR) 37. The policy and purpose behind GR 37 is to eliminate the unfair exclusion of potential jurors based on race or ethnicity. There were over 170 Assistant Attorneys General and their staff in attendance.
Judge Whitener received her Certificate of Completion from the WA State Administrative Office of the Courts 2018 Faculty Development Training.
Judge Whitener helped kicked off the 2018 National Federal Paralegal Association’s (NFPA) Annual Convention. Paralegals from all over the United States were in attendance and Judge Whitener’s presentation was titled “Cultural Competency and the Law.”
Judge Whitener presented on a panel with Judge Beth Andrus (Court of Appeals Div. I) for the WA Employment Lawyers Association's (WELA) Annual CLE at the Pacific Tower in Seattle.
On October 4, 2018, Judge Whitener was honored to attend the World Affairs Council of Tacoma, 29th Annual Consular Association Reception held at Bates Technical College. Governor Inslee gave the keynote address to the 160 guests in attendance from Washington's international consuls, regional and local business owners, public servants, and students. Photos courtesy of Lynn Rainey and Dan Devries.
The Minority & Justice Commission, along with the Center for Civil and Human Rights at Gonzaga University Law School was proud to sponsor, The Pursuit of Justice: Law Leadership, and the Role of the Civil Rights Activist Conference.
WA State Supreme Court Justice Mary Yu presented Judge Whitener with this year's J-FAB Award. “Each year the Board of the Pierce County Washington Women Lawyers selects an honoree who not only positively contributes to the community as a professional, but who also embodies amazing personal qualities that make her Just Fabulous. Judge Whitener is an ambassador of self-worth and gentle perseverance who has been working tirelessly to increase diversity and inclusion in our community, and we are delighted to celebrate her.”
Judge Whitener presentation at the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges' 81st Annual conference promoted collaborative efforts for addressing the national Gavel Gap problem facing state courts.
Judge Whitener was honored to be invited by Campaign for Equal Justice to speak on a very important issue facing our Courts, Civil Legal Aid.“Each year, over 1 Million people in Washington Sate need Legal Aid they cannot afford. They deserve justice.” Campaign For Equal Justice.
As Pierce County’s first openly LGBT judge and the first openly LGBT black judge in WA State. Judge Whitener understands firsthand the bias faced by LGBT people, women, people of color and other diverse populations in the legal system and works had to ensure that ALL individuals who come into her court have meaningful Access to Justice.
Judge Whitener gave the keynote speech for the Seattle University School of Law Academic Resource Center's incoming students. The reception was hosted by the WSBA Diversity Committee.
Washington State Gender and Justice Commission, invited Judge Whitener, a member of the National Association of Women Judges (NAWJ) to present the NAWJ’s Color of Justice Program. In 1994, WA Supreme Court established the Gender and Justice Commission whose mission is to promote gender equality in the Justice System. The mission of the NAWJ is to promote the judicial role of protecting the rights of individuals under the rule of law through strong, committed, diverse judicial leadership; fairness and equality in the courts; and equal access to justice.
Judge Helen Whitener gave the keynote address at the Pierce College Women & Justice Forum. A panel of women in a variety of criminal justice careers ranging from 911 dispatcher to Superior Court Judge. Attendees had the opportunity to learn more about the inspiration, challenges and triumphs of nontraditional voices of the criminal justice system.
Judge Whitener was honored to be a Keynote speaker at the NAACP Freedom Fund Banquet in Kitsap County
Judge Whitener had the honor of being the only delegate from Washington State to attend the IAWJ “Building Bridges between Women Judges of the World” Conference held in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Over 800 female Judges from around the world with eighty-two from the United States, participated in five days of educational sessions. Judge Whitener also attended a reception for the US delegates at the US Embassy in Buenos Aires.
Judge Whitener was the Keynote Speaker for the 2018 QLAW Banquet. QLAW is the Washington State Association of LGBT Professionals. Over 400 legal professionals were in attendance.
Judge Whitener was a faculty presenter as well as an attendee at this year’s Superior Court Judges’ Spring Conference held at Lake Chelan. Additionally, Judge Whitener was presented the WSBA Affirmative Action Award plaque received by the SCJA Equality and Fairness Committee in the year 2000. Judge Eric Lucas has been the Chair of the Committee since its inception and the plaque was passed on to Judge Whitener who is now the Committee Chair. Judge Whitener intends to proudly display the plaque in her courtroom.
Judge Whitener participated in a panel discussion at the University of Puget Sound. The event was hosted by City Club of Tacoma and the theme was the Year of the Woman, Judge Whitener was joined by panelists Kim Wyman, Secretary of State, and Alfie Alvarado-Ramos, Director of WA State Veteran’s Affairs. The panel moderator was attorney Valarie Zeeck and the discussion was about the great strides women have made and the road women have yet to travel.
QLAW, WA State Association of LBGT legal professionals and their friends hosted Judge Whitener at their first social mixer in Pierce County. Co-Sponsors of the event were Washington Women Lawyers, Pierce County Chapter and the Washington State Bar Association, LGBT Law Section.
Judge Whitener brought her Street Law Class to the Pierce County Superior Court to see how it works. The Students met Judges, a Court Commissioner, the Court Administrator, They also met with Judge Whitener's Judicial Assistant and Court Reporter to understand how a courtroom operates.
Judge Whitener was honored to be the Keynote Speaker for the Black Women Rise 2018 conference held in West Palm Beach, Florida. It was the second BWR conference and there were over 100 attendees ages 15 to 80 from 11 States and 21 Florida cities. The women were from diverse racial/ethnic, professional and political backgrounds. Judge Whitener also participated on a multi-generational panel
Justice Gonzalez spoke to Judge Whitener’s Street Law class along with Margaret Fisher, the state's Street Law coordinator and Diana Kiesel, Pierce County Superior Court Commissioner
Judge Whitener attended the Washington State Elected Officials of Color Reception at the Governor's Mansion.
Judge Whitener had the honor of teaching her Street Law Class at Lincoln High School with Pierce County Corrections Deputy Lynette Rankin. Deputy Rankin explained how corrections officers are the branch of law enforcement that supervises individuals who have been arrested and are being held for trial or who have been convicted of a crime and are serving a sentence in a jail.
US Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor visited Washington State to promote civic education in WA schools. Judge Whitener participated as a judge who teaches Street Law, at Lincoln High School in Tacoma Washington.
Judge Whitener presents to the WA State Superior Court Judges' Association on the Color of Justice Event she put on in Pierce County Superior Court.
Judge Whitener organized a one-day event to encourage girls, 11-18 years old, to consider a career in the law and the judiciary. The keynote speaker was Justice Mary Yu of the Washington State Supreme Court. More than 80 girls from across Western Washington registered to attend the program where they met, participated with, and observed the legal process through the eyes of female members of the judiciary.
Judge Whitener spoke again at the ICSEW conference. The CSEW is a committee that seeks to better the lives of state employees through advocacy, outreach, opportunity, and by advising the Governor and agencies on policies that affect state-employed women.
Judge Whitener will be teaching Street Law at Lincoln High School, Tacoma, with teacher Kerry Hipps for 2017-2018 academic year.
Judge Whitener speaks on the 14th Amendment at Stadium High School for Law Day 2017
"Justice on Trial in the 21st Century"
WA State Supreme Court appoints Judge Whitener to the WA State Minority & Justice Commission. The Washington State Minority & Justice Commission was established by the state Supreme Court in 1990 to determine whether racial and ethnic bias exists in the courts of Washington and to take creative steps to overcome and prevent it. The Commission grew out of a task force established in 1988 at the urging of state legislators.
Judge Whitener is the Keynote speaker at Catherine's Place Boombaballa Event. "Celebrating the Strength and Diversity of Women"
Judge Whitener presented at this two-day multigenerational, multiracial conference where she was a panelist with keynote speaker Dr. Angela Davis. Judge Whitener also did two separate presentations titled, "Color of Justice: Coding an Imperfect Criminal Justice Paradigm;" and "Black Women in Corrections, Law Enforcement and on the Bench".
For Women's History Month, Judge Whitener is featured in 2 posters issued by the US Embassy Trinidad and Tobago.
Attorney General's Office, Department of Labor & Industries
Job Shadow SUL 1L Law Students
Panelist with Justice Mary Yu and King County Superior Court Judge, Pat Oishi held at Seattle University Law School
The Joint Base Lewis McChord Military Police Corps 75th Anniversary Ball
Seattle University School of Law "Side Bar" Alumni Connection
Washington State Bar Association panel presentation on "Effective Motions in Limine - A view from the Bench."
Metropolitan Development Council, Share Breakfast 2016-2020. Two MDC organization goals are to (1) Improve the health and well-being of low-income individuals and (2) see that everyone understand their stake in a healthy and equitable community and
Lessons in Leadership: Designing Your Future. My presentation on Claiming Your Identity by Understanding your Self-Worth
Out in the Park, Tacoma Pride Festival 2016
Washington State Attorney General's Office, Continuing Legal Education on Diversity & Inclusion
Presentation to former colleagues at Washington State Industrial Insurance Appeals Board on "Judicial Philosophy regarding Diversity: Impact vs. Intent."
Today, Deputy Director, Ennis L. Hobbs, 508th Military Police Detention Battalion, Joint Base Lewis-McChord presented me with a Thor. The Thor was created by the military inmates and it was inscribed with the American Flag and the Flag of Trinidad and Tobago on one side and the Washington State Flag on the other with the inscription “Access to Justice for All” on the handle.
Women Judges & the Rule of Law: Assessing the Past, Anticipating the Future
Gender and Sexual Orientation: The Challenge to Social Sustainability as it pertains to Access to Justice
Presentation on "Miranda Rights"
Presentation on "Our Courts, Access to Justice and Human Rights"
Advancing Justice Through Judicial Education
Judge Whitener presided over the initial round of the 2016 YMCA Washington State Mock Trial Competition
Official Proclamations signed by President Obama
Collaborating with Women Community Leaders on International Women's Day
Judge Whitener spoke at the Tacoma Community College Northwest Higher Education Men's Summit
The Northwestern Joint Regional Correctional facility on Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
Tacoma Firefighters Ball raise money to send kids affected by cancer to camp!
Steilacoom Kiwanis Charity Event benefiting the Schools, students and communities of Steilacoom, DuPont, and Anderson Island.
Pierce County Minority Bar Association: Youth and Law Forum
Tacoma Pierce County Bar Association, CLE Presentation: A view from the Bench
Pierce County Lawyer Magazine Article
TedxPortofSpain Ted Talk at Queens Hall in Trinidad and Tobago
Seattle University School of Law, Red Mass
Project Peace, Community Dialogue with City of Tacoma Police Department at University of Puget Sound
7th Annual 2015 Women's Conference at Mission Creek Corrections Center for Women
Out in the Community with City of Tacoma, Assistant Chief, Kathy McAlpine. Project PEACE (Partnering for Equity and Community Engagement). Building Trust, Relationships and Understanding with the Tacoma Police Department, City Manager and Community members.
Out in the Park, Tacoma Pride Festival
Judge Whitener was hosted by the US Embassy in Trinidad and Tobago to speak to public officials, various organizations and community groups on Human Rights and Overcoming Intolerance
City Club of Tacoma Panel Discussion at UPS The Dream - Tacoma-51 years after the March on DC - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Law Day at Lincoln High School Speaking with pre-law 12th Grade Students
Seattle University School of Law - Alumni Gathering
THIS US-BASED JUDGE IS A TRINI
Judge Whitener presided over two rounds at the Washington State Mock Trial Competition
Judge G. Helen Whitener was sworn in today as a Pierce County Superior Court Judge, Department 11. Judge Whitener is presently the youngest judicial officer on her bench, the only black female on any court in Pierce County, the first immigrant born judge and the first openly gay judge.