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March 27, 2024 Women's History Month

Women Leaders Making History Through a Cultural Lens for Generations

Presented by the ABA Judicial Division

The panelists are trailblazers: The first Native-American woman to serve as ABA President (Mary Smith); the first Black LGBT judge in the state of Washington and the first Black woman on the Washington Supreme Court (Helen Whitener); and the first person of color to serve as Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court (Tani Cantil-Sakauye). The professional journeys of these women leaders were influenced by the cultural values and wisdom of key influencers who helped them succeed and break the glass ceilings they encountered. The panel will discuss and share insights on ways new and experienced lawyers and judges can utilize and share their own cultural values, influences, and lessons learned to promote diversity in the judiciary and the legal profession for future generations of leaders.


Mary Smith

ABA President

Hon. G. Helen Whitener

Justice, WA State Supreme Court

Hon. Tani Cantil-Sakauye

Chief Justice of California (Ret.)

Hon. Diana Song Quiroga


U.S. Magistrate Judge, Southern District of TX; Chair, Standing Committee on Diversity in the Judiciary