Statement about Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Confirmation

Dear William Penn School District Community:

Yesterday, history was made in our nation. Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson became the first Black woman to be confirmed as a Justice on the United States Supreme Court.

Fifty-five years since Justice Thurgood Marshall became the first Black American to sit on the Supreme Court, Judge Brown Jackson breaks new ground as the first Black American woman and first public defender on our nation’s highest court. This is a historical moment that is filled with hope for the future of the United States.

Judge Brown Jackson is highly qualified for the appointment. She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University, then attended Harvard Law School and graduated cum laude. She has served as a federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and served as Vice Chair of the U.S. Sentencing Commission.

We acknowledge Judge Brown Jackson’s resilience, grace, and vulnerability during the confirmation hearings. The condemnation that was regrettably center-stage during her confirmation was often racist and misogynistic. During the hearing, she made a statement to girls that spoke to the challenges she faced while navigating her career and motherhood, inspiring hope that they will see what can be accomplished with “hard work, determination, and love.”

It is likely some students have seen news reports about the confirmation hearings and may have questions. Please allow space for young people to process and share. Below are some resources for talking with children:

We celebrate this moment and appreciate the source of inspiration Judge Brown Jackson has become to many of us, and feel secure in the knowledge that Judge Brown Jackson is a powerful role model for our students. It was a source of pride, as well, to see Vice President Kamala Harris, our first Black woman U.S. Vice President, preside over the chamber during the vote.

William Penn School District supports the tearing down of obstacles that obstruct successful pathways for all people – especially racist and unjust hurdles. We commemorate this victory and also acknowledge work is still needed to promote justice and equality for all.

Take care,

Eric J. Becoats, Ed.D.