TheHUB Detroit Commentary by Pam Perry
What does a 60-plus beauty queen with a butterfly tattoo and sassy repartee have in common with an award-winning black female judge with a penchant for fine cuisine?
These groundbreaking role models are paving the way for women of color in every level of society. Together, these unstoppable forces for good transformed their cities through rousing keynote speeches, grassroots community activism, and a heart to see actual change.
Dr. Geneva Williams, the winner of Ms. Black Fit and Fine — an over 60 beauty contest, is the author of “Justice on the Jersey Shore.” The book is the story of her father’s fight to change New Jersey’s discriminatory housing practices. Williams shares the struggle for equal housing amid prejudice, fear mongering, and cross burnings on her front lawn.
The host of the Ignite 2 Impact podcast learned from her parents that personal sacrifice can lead to a statewide revolution, when the New Jersey Supreme court voted in favor of her father’s right to live wherever he pleased in the land of the free. This landmark decision upended the status quo in the Garden State. Williams shares how one man’s resolve influenced millions. To this day she teaches those leadership principles to captivated audiences who are moved by her stories of resilience.
This visionary uses her platforms to push attendees out of their comfort zones and into the marvelous light of their destiny.
Williams’ clients soon learn gray hair is a badge of honor, not a death sentence. She believes in living your most vibrant life, and to do that you must learn how to make the most of the dash on your tombstone. To her, every day is a precious opportunity to fulfill your calling on the earth to touch lives, influence your community, and build a brighter future for the next generation.
Judge Leonia Lloyd spearheads community-wide efforts to awaken neighborhoods to the richness of its people. The Wayne University grad pulls on her Christian faith to overcome obstacles of sexism, racism, and the old boy’s club, climbing to the heights of the 36th District’s judicial mountain. In her memoir, “Your Honor, Your Honor: A Journey Through Grief and Restorative Justice,” she recounts her God-given path through institutional prejudice.
Lloyd has been featured in People, Ebony, and Jet magazines as the first sitting judge to share the bench with her twin sister — both serving the same district at the same time.
Despite her rich career as a model, teacher, attorney, and judge, Lloyd’s real claim to fame is her heart for the people of Detroit. She bulldozed a trail for recovery through her award-winning justice reform programs for drug pushers and prostitutes.
A product of the Detroit public schools, Lloyd knows good things can come out of the Motor City. She made it her mission to shine a light on the downtrodden and to mete out justice fairly while offering a hand up to offenders who wanted to make a change for the better. She sought to break the cycle of recidivism, and the public school‑to‑prison pipeline by instilling a little common sense and compassion on the bench.
These active women can be found gracing virtual stages throughout the country sharing powerful insights that are changing women’s lives.
Williams currently helps business owners learn the art of the pivot during these tumultuous times on her Ignite2impact Podcast. She also serves on the Governor’s Women’s Commission while mentoring hundreds of followers using a “Big Sister” approach in her social media groups.
Lloyd helps law students and the homeless by serving on the board of two prestigious organizations.
As a board member for the Wayne State University Black Law Alumni Council, she guides struggling law students through the pitfalls and challenges of the profession. Each year she provides funds for college students through the Judge Leona and Leonia Lloyd Twins for Justice Endowed Scholarship Fund.
She also sits on the board of Southeastern Michigan Veterans Stand Down Inc. where she helps homeless veterans regain their confidence to return to society. The nonprofit offers job training, employment, and adequate housing.
After decades of serving the community, these Detroit women are roaring into their golden years showing the world the best is yet to come.
For more information on Dr. Geneva Williams, visit www.drgenevaspeaks.com You can find Judge Leonia Lloyd at www.judgeleonia.com.