The Black Law Students Association (BLSA) at Western Michigan University Cooley Law School’s Tampa Bay campus will honor Florida State Senator Arthenia L. Joyner (2006-2016) with the 2020 Distinguished Leadership Honoree at its Annual Black Tie Ball. The ball will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn, 10309 Highland Manor Drive, Tampa, Florida, on March 7. The cocktail reception begins at 7 p.m. and dinner will be served at 7:30. Tickets are $50 and are available by contacting [email protected].
“Joyner is a dynamic individual whose personal life is a chronicle of the struggle for equal justice. She has not just lived history, she has made history,” said WMU-Cooley Professor Renalia DuBose, who also serves as the BLSA adviser.
Joyner, of counsel at Vanguard Attorneys in Tampa, practices in the area of personal injury. She is a graduate of Florida A&M University College of Law, where she was Florida’s fifth black female lawyer, the first black female lawyer in Hillsborough County, the first black lawyer in Polk County, the first black female lawyer to serve on the board of the Hillsborough County Bar Association, the first black appointed by Governor Lawton Chiles to the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority, the first black woman appointed to the Board of Directors of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, the first black female state representative and state senator elected from Tampa, the first black female lawyer in the Florida Senate, and the first black female to lead the Senate Democratic Caucus. Joyner has practiced law for 50 years, longer than any black woman in the history of Florida.
During WMU-Cooley’s 2019 Barristers Ball, BLSA was recipient of the “Organization of the Year” award because of its community involvement and events held on campus. The chapter was chartered in June 2013 as an affiliate of the National Black Law Students Association.
Past distinguished leadership honorees include Senior Judge Perry Little of the 13th Judicial Circuit Court, attorney Theda James (retired senior legal counsel for the 13th District Public Defender), and attorney Warren Dawson.