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Black Bar Association invites Edwina Richardson Mendelson as BHM keynote speaker

February 17, 2023 Rob Abruzzese
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The Metropolitan Black Bar Association hosted a Black History Month celebration on Feb. 1 where it invited Hon. Edwina Richardson-Mendelson, the deputy chief administrative judge for Justice Initiatives, to be its keynote speaker.

The event, which was co-sponsored by the Judicial Friends Association, was part of an annual Black Judges Celebration that drew a huge crowd of over 120 people and more than 50 judges to the U.S. District Treasury building in Downtown Manhattan.

It was the MBBA and Judicial Friends’ way of celebrating the contributions that Black people have made to the legal community and judicial system in New York State.

Justice Richardson-Mendelson made news late last year when she was nominated to become the first Black woman to serve as chief administrative judge of the State of New York. However, that nomination was tied to the nomination of Hon. Hector LaSalle as chief judge of the state, which the State Senate Judiciary Committee rejected last month.

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Justice Richardson-Mendelson was hardly the only judge involved in the program. Hon. J. Machelle Sweeting performed the invocation following a welcome by Evette Ennis. Hon. Claudia DePeyster performed the National Anthem and Black National Anthem, and Hon. Verna Suanders gave opening remarks before the room, led by Hon. Dianne Renwick, took a moment to remember the late Judge Sterling Johnson. MBBA President Carl Forbes, Jr. provided the closing remarks.

Richardson-Mendelson was also named MBBA’s 2022 Jurist of the Year.

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