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First Black Female Appointed To OH Supreme Court

 COLUMBUS -On Jan. 1, 2011, Yvette McGee Brown will become the first African American woman to serve as a Supreme Court of Ohio Justice after her appointment by Gov. Ted Strickland.

“Yvette is one of the most remarkable public servants I know,” Gov. Strickland said.  “Throughout her life, from a humble upbringing to a distinguished career serving others, Yvette has embodied the highest levels of personal integrity and an exceptional intellectual capacity. Her diversity of experience, work as a former judge, and advocacy for the welfare of Ohio families will add a unique perspective and balanced decision-making to Ohio’s Supreme Court. I have no doubt that Yvette will provide a wise and compassionate voice for the most vulnerable to our highest court.”

McGee Brown, 50, is a lifelong resident of Columbus and an active, respected leader in the central Ohio community. She most recently served as the founding president for the Center for Child and Family Advocacy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital before becoming a candidate for Ohio lieutenant governor in early 2010.

McGee Brown’s term commences on Jan. 1, and she will fill the seat vacated by Justice Maureen O’Connor when O’Connor becomes Chief Justice of the Supreme Court on Jan. 1.

“I am honored for this incredible opportunity to continue my service to Ohio’s children and families,” McGee Brown said. “I have been fortunate to have a life and career that has allowed me to pour my heart into helping others and expanding opportunities for vulnerable Ohioans. I look forward to bringing my diverse experiences and thoughtful perspectives to my work on the Ohio Supreme Court.”

McGee Brown was born to a single, teenage mother on Columbus’ East Side who worked two jobs to provide for her family. Early in life, her mother and grandmother instilled in her the importance of education and hard work.

McGee Brown graduated from Ohio University in 1982 with a degree in journalism/public relations. She continued her education at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, earning her Juris Doctorate in 1985, while her mother attended college at the same time.

Following graduation, McGee Brown worked at the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and then became chief legal counsel to the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction and the Department of Youth Services. Immediately before being elected to the bench, she was a partner in the law firm of Turner, Wright & McGee.

McGee Brown served as a judge in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, Division of Domestic Relations and Juvenile Court, from 1993 to 2002. She was the first African-American and the second woman to be elected to the court. As judge, she founded programs that assisted young people in the Franklin County community: SMART, a truancy and educational neglect intervention program, and the Family Drug Court.

In 2002, McGee Brown retired from the court to create the Center for Child and Family Advocacy, a multi-disciplinary child abuse and family violence program that co-locates prevention, assessment, treatment, research, advocacy and education services for children and families experiencing abuse. The program has become a national model for integration of multi-disciplinary services.

An active community and corporate leader, McGee Brown has served on the boards of Ohio University, The Ohio State University Medical Center, the National Council of the OSU Moritz College of Law, M/I Homes Inc. and Fifth Third Bank of Central Ohio. She is the former chair of the United Way of Central Ohio and YWCA Columbus Board of Directors. In 2008, McGee Brown was inducted into the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame. Among her honors, she has received the Champion of Children Award, YWCA Woman of Achievement Award and several honors from Ohio University and The Ohio State University.

McGee Brown resides in Gahanna and is married to Tony Brown, a special education teacher. They have three children.


STORY TAGS: BLACKS, AFRICAN AMERICAN, MINORITIES, CIVIL RIGHTS, DISCRIMINATION, RACISM, RACIAL EQUALITY, BIAS, EQUALITY, AFRO AMERICANS, WOMEN, MINORITIES, DISCRIMINATION, DIVERSITY, FEMALE, UNDERREPRESENTED, EQUALITY, GENDER BIAS, EQUALITY



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