In 2020, one may find it hard to believe Jacksonville, Florida has yet to see its first ELECTED African-American female judge; however, it is in fact true that the glass ceiling still exists in the 21st Century.
With over 20 years of experience in the legal system and over 10 years owning her own private practice, Rhonda Peoples Waters' credentials have certainly made her the most qualified candidate in the race, regardless of her ethnicity. After submitting 13 applications to the Fourth Judicial Circuit Nominating Commission, Waters race towards judicial bench appointment finally seems a reality. It is due to the undying commitment from leaders such as Waters, that our nation and culture will begin to see resolve in the number of wrongful convictions, unfair trials and injustices committed particularly towards Black citizens.
Being the change we want to see, to Waters, starts in the courtroom. She says, "Representation matters. It’s important to see and know that there are people
of varied backgrounds helping shape decisions. Seeing someone that looks
like you reminds you that it is possible to excel beyond what is expected."
While there have been previous appointments, Waters says, "we have not elected a Black, female judge to the bench."
There have been two total appointments by the Governor, but a Black female judge has not been able to be elected by the citizens in county. Upon winning, Waters would be the first black female judge that was elected directly by the citizens of Duval County.
She continues, "Diversity is needed in our
courtrooms across the country. I look forward to being a representation of
diversity in the river city."
Healing cannot occur until change is shown. Waters suggests, staying "informed and showing up to the polls." She says, "While the election in November is important, we have to also be informed of our local races. We
should know the candidates, research their platforms, ask them the tough
decisions and make sure they earn our vote."
Waters reminds us, "Decisions are made for us (the African-American community) whether we show up or not. We must be informed and exercise our right to vote in the candidates that will be a benefit to us."
As Women For The Culture, Waters charges us to "get involved in local elections, create
content that educates and prepares others to make intelligent decisions."
Do you accept the challenge?
For more information on Rhonda Peoples Waters, visit peoplesforjudge.com.