Black girls, women in Chicago celebrate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson

Thursday, June 30, 2022
Black girls, women celebrate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson
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With Ketanji Brown Jackson making history on the Supreme Court, many Black girls are hoping the world has room for their potential, too.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- With Ketanji Brown Jackson making history as the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court, many Black girls are hoping the world has room for their potential, too.

"I feel like it our time to stand up. It's our time to show out and just be great," said Brianna Smith, a high school student and member of Ladies of Virtue.

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The organization is focused on developing the next generation of female leaders. LOV founder and CEO Jamila Trimuel described Jackson as an inspiration for Black women and girls.

"I wanted our girls to know that right now in this very moment history is being made," she said.

The organization hosted a networking event Thursday. The teens met with professionals, including attorney Melanie Berks. Berks spoke to the teens about the importance of having a Black woman on the Supreme Court.

"It means everything. It is a celebration today. I think particularly for Black women, of course for attorneys, but I think for America," Berks said.

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Some teens are now paying more attention to the high court after its recent ruling on abortion rights.

"When Roe v. Wade just happened, when I looked at the vote, I was like, what representation did I really have? Who did I feel actually portrayed my thoughts, my opinions, my perspective?" said Mikayah Cheeks, a recent high school grad who is headed to college out of state in the fall.

Kourtney Johnson is part of Ladies of Virtue and Chicago Debates, an after school academic debate program. Jackson was a debater in high school. It lets Johnson know she is on the right track for a promising legal career like Justice Jackson.

"What I have been told a lot is, you can't be what you can't see," she said.

Anthony Bolden, the director of programs for Chicago Debates, said Jackson's debate background is an added bonus for his students.

"We are just excited to celebrate her and hopefully celebrate our students one day who might find themselves in the same position," Bolden said.

Debater Ava McKenzie could be that student.

"It makes me believe that me as a debater that I can go all the way up to being a Supreme Court justice myself," she said.