From Brooklyn to Zanzibar: Judges to attend big conference in Tanzania

Olayemi Odesanya | 5/1/2014, 3:25 p.m.
L to R: Judge Robin Shearers, Judge Geraldine Pickett and Justices Lewis L. Douglass, Yvonne Lewis and Deborah James Photo by Lem Peterkin

Several New York City judges are on their way to Tanzania, invited by their continental colleagues to the 12th International Biennial Conference of the International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ). As she got set to board a plane on her African journey, Civil Court Judge Geraldine Pickett told the Amsterdam News,“Truly, I am excited and honored to accept the invitation to participate in the 12th International Biennial Conference of the International Association of Women Judges. Hosted by the IAWJ and the Tanzanian Women Judges Association, the conference is being held in Arusha, Tanzania.”

“Justice For All” is the theme of the conference. Primarily women judges and magistrates from around the world will be attending and participating. Kings County Supreme Court Justice Yvonne Lewis; former Justice Lewis L. Douglass; Civil Court Judge Robin Sheares, along with myself; Justice Deborah James; and Pickett will be in attendance. In their own words, this conference will provide these noted justices “the opportunity to interact, discuss problems and solutions for people throughout the world seeking justice through the judicial system.”

Pickett concluded, “This is a perfect moment in history to connect with and visit our ancestors’ homeland. I am looking forward to not only visiting Arusha, the site of the conference, but also Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar, Tanzania. The importance of Africa to who we are, where we come from and where we are going cannot be underestimated. Whatever happens in Africa has a direct, as well as indirect, effect on us here in America. As people, our struggle, progress and development are interlinked. None of us can be free until we all are free.”