Chair’s Message

2020-2021 Chair Hon. Cenceria P. Edwards

“Leading Forward 50 Years of Judicial Service – Changing the Judiciary! 

Commemorating Our Legacy!”

It is with honor, gratitude, great pride and enthusiasm that I take the reign to serve as the 50th Chair of The Judicial Council Division of the National Bar Association.  Thank you NBAJC 2020-2021 officers and executive committee members for your commitment to serve!

Thank you NBAJC members for your votes of confidence and with your valued support during these extraordinary times we will Lead Forward 50 Years of Judicial service committed to “Equal Justice Under Law.”  Today we pledge to continue to transform the Judiciary as we are tasked with judging anew.

As I prepare to lead, I am mindful of the fact that COVID-19 has impacted the world drastically; America is stricken with countless deaths in a few short months and millions of persons are infected with the disease.  The court systems are tasked with determining how to adjudicate trials by retrofitting and sanitizing court rooms, monitoring litigants’ movement, temperatures, etc. in compliance with new social distancing guidelines.  Virtual judging has become the new norm as we Skype, Zoom, Webcam, Court Call, and hold court conferences remotely.

The public deaths of Ms. Breonna Taylor, Mr. Ahmaud Arbery, and Mr. George Floyd have forced us to reexamine policing and laws across our great nation with Black Lives Matter (BLM) physically and metaphorically painting state-by-state murals forcing many worldwide to confront the disparities within the criminal justice system.  In keeping with our objective “the eradication of racial and class bias from every aspect of the judicial and law enforcement process”, as members of the judiciary we have an obligation to address injustices and disparities within our judicial system.

With these new challenges, I assure you that the Judicial Council Division is hard at work continuing to lead.  Accordingly, I pledge to work diligently to fulfill our vision: 1) new interactive website; 2) lead forward with our young lawyers through the “Judges Sarah J. Harper/ Arnette Hubbard Bench Bar Leadership Institute”; and 3) honor the legacy of the Judicial Council as we conclude our 50th Year in historic Memphis, Tennessee and royally pay tribute to our Past Chairs for their exemplary service to our organization!

These Pandemic and Protest has caused our nation to pause, reflect, resolve and reform; thus, please join The Judicial Council with your time, talents, and treasures as we are:

“Leading Forward 50 Years of Judicial Service – Changing the Judiciary! 

Commemorating Our Legacy!”

In Service,

Hon. Cenceria P. Edwards

50th Chair of the Judicial Council Division of the National Bar Association

© 2020 The Judicial Council of the National Bar Association.