FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: David M. Grubb
(504) 286-5343 or (504) 810-3048
April 1, 2013
Louisiana Supreme Court Justice Bernette J. Johnson to speak at SUNO Honors and Awards Ceremony
NEW ORLEANS, LA – Currently presiding as the first black chief justice in the history of the state of Louisiana, the Honorable Bernette J. Johnson will be the keynote speaker at the Southern University at New Orleans Honors and Awards Day ceremonies, to be held Wednesday, April 17 at 11:00 a.m. in the University Gymnasium.
Justice Johnson was first elected to the state’s highest court in 1994 and was chosen in 2013 to succeed Justice Catherine Kimball as the Supreme Court’s chief justice. Prior to that, she was the first woman elected to serve on the bench of the Civil District Court of New Orleans in 1984. Before becoming a judge, Bernette Johnson worked in the City Attorney’s office in New Orleans, eventually earning the title of Deputy City Attorney. Justice Johnson’s career has been notable in its focus on advocacy for social justice, civil rights and community organizing. She has worked with groups such as the NAACP and in grassroots organizations throughout the south. She has also worked in legal education as an adjunct faculty member at Tulane University and as an adjunct professor at SUNO, where she taught Legal Terminology and Business Law.
“We are honored to have a trailblazer like Justice Johnson as the speaker for this occasion,” said committee chairperson Dr. Brenda Jackson. “At Southern University at New Orleans we emphasize that superior scholarship must be a priority, and it is through the dedication to scholarship that individuals like Justice Johnson have been able to make history. Each year, through our Honors and Awards program we encourage, celebrate and applaud the academic excellence and community service efforts of our students. We are certain that they will be inspired by both the words and the example of Justice Johnson and we are grateful that she has chosen to participate in this day with us.”
Justice Bernette J. Johnson received her B.A. from Spelman College in Atlanta, GA and her Juris Doctorate from Louisiana State University. She has been honored with an Honorary Doctorate in Law from Spelman College and has been inducted into the LSU Law Center Hall of Fame.
This year, more than 700 students will be recognized during the annual Honors and Awards Day ceremony. This event is free and open to the public. For additional information please contact Dr. Brenda Jackson at (504) 286-5274.