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G&S Reflections: What does Women’s History Month mean to Channing Kelly?

There have been 115 Supreme Court justices in history. Zero have been Black women. As we wrap up Women’s History Month, it’s only fitting to reflect upon Ketanji Brown Jackson – the first Black woman nominated to the United States Supreme Court.

While this barrier-breaking event deserves recognition and a round of applause, it also makes me ponder the challenges around equality that still remain. Can we all have equal justice under the law when the highest court is still working to be reflective of the rich fabric of our Nation? It seems surreal to me that, at this point in history, we are still experiencing these historic firsts. Let me be clear, the nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court is indeed a historic moment, one that fills my heart with hope.

At the same time, this moment reminds me of the many historic firsts that lie beyond the horizon. What is next? When will we see an open member of the LGBTQ+ community on the Supreme Court? How about a person of indigenous or Asian American Pacific Islander descent? Perhaps more importantly, when will we see a minority Chief Justice?

I hope that we will one day have a Supreme Court that represents the beautiful tapestry of American diversity that makes the United States so special – a Court that can draw upon varied lived experiences when interpreting the law. Until then, let’s celebrate our historic firsts – like Ketanji Brown Jackson – and use this moment to honor what we have achieved, while still remembering that greater challenges remain. Congratulations Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, the likely soon-to-be first Black woman to take a seat on our Nation’s highest court!


perspective, reflections