FACDL 2022 Diversity Webinar

Forging a New Path: Leadership for Diverse Lawyers

FACDL chose the symbolic date of February 1st as it was this day in 1865 when Abraham Lincoln signed the joint House and Senate resolution that later became the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. 




Private Practice Attorney: $20

Government lawyer/Judge: $10

Webinar Panel

  • Kimberly Jackson (moderator) - Kimberly Jackson Esq. Executive Director | Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions For more information about the Executive Director’s advocacy please see the link below: kimberlygjackson.com Kimberly is a native of Crete, Illinois. She has her B.A. from Spelman College in Political Science, J.D. from Stetson University College of Law and MIPP from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Sciences. She practiced locally in St. Petersburg and gained a passion for nonprofit advocacy with family-oriented agencies. Following her daughter’s diagnosis with Asperger’s syndrome, she transitioned from her legal career to education. Her journey at St. Petersburg College was largely based on her commitment to equity. She held the position of Political Science Chair prior to becoming the Executive Director of the Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions (ISPS). Kimberly is dedicated to generational equity in all areas. She serves on the boards of the St. Petersburg Free Clinic, The St. Petersburg Chapter of the YMCA, Academy Prep, The Arts Alliance, The St. Petersburg Arts Commission, and The Council for Parents, Attorneys and Advocates for those with Disabilities (COPAA). Kimberly is active with the Fred G. Minnis Bar Association, and is a member of St. Petersburg Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., The St. Petersburg Chapter of the Links, Inc., and The Suncoast Chapter of Jack and Jill, Inc. She is 2004 Graduate of Leadership St. Pete. While advocacy is her passion, she travels whenever she has the opportunity.

  • Judge Tabitha Blackmon - Broward County Judge Blackmon immigrated from Trinidad at age 9 years old with her family. She grew up in Broward County, where she attended public schools, such as Coral Springs Middle School and Stoneman Douglas High School. She is a double gator and graduated from the University of Florida, where she received both her bachelor’s degree and juris doctorate. Judge Blackmon spent most of her career in public service. She started at the State Attorney’s Office as an assistant state attorney in 2009. She also spent approximately three and a half years prosecuting dependency cases through the Office of Attorney General and Children’s Legal Services, prior to returning to the State Attorney’s Office in 2017. She once again served as a prosecutor until her appointment to the bench. Judge Blackmon was appointed to the County Court Bench by Governor Ron DeSantis on June 24, 2020. She started at the South satellite courthouse handling both civil and criminal matters. Currently, she is assigned to the First Appearance division. She is the first Trinidadian American Judge to serve on the bench in Broward County. Judge Blackmon is actively involved in numerous bar organizations, including but not limited to the Broward County Bar Association, including their professionalism committee as co-chair; Asian Pacific American Bar Association; TJ Reddick Bar Association; Inns of Court; and Broward County Women Lawyer’s Association, to name a few. Judge Blackmon gives back to the community through community service and speaking at events where she can speak to school aged children. She is the mother of a child with autism and is actively involved in committees related to helping support families and children with autism and other conditions of neurological diversity in the public schools. She also attends church with her family on the weekends and is actively involved in her children’s school and extracurricular activities.

  • Cecil Scoon - Cecile Scoon received a Visual and Environmental Studies undergraduate degree from Harvard in 1981. She is currently a civil rights lawyer in Panama City, Florida. After graduating from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1984, she spent five years as an active duty Air Force JAG prosecuting in military courts-martial. She retired from the A.F. reserves as a Major in 2005. Cecile attempts to protect the rights of those wronged at work due to their race, religion, age, disability, place of birth, or unwanted sexual advances. When not burning the midnight oil drafting lengthy pleadings, Cecile enjoys parenting her three children, as well as running, gardening, painting, and watching soccer matches with her best friend, husband, law partner, and LWV member, Alvin Peters. Cecile currently serves as the President of the LWV of Florida. She is a past president of the League of Women Voters of Bay County. Cecile also previously serves chair of the Florida League’s efforts on Restoration of Rights (including passing Florida’s 2018 Amendment 4) as well as heading up our Health Care Action Team. Cecile is a proud member of the Xi Omicron Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

  • Monique H. Worrell - Monique H. Worrell is the State Attorney for the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court for the State of Florida. She was elected in November of 2020 and serves as the chief prosecutor. Monique is the second African American elected as State Attorney, and the first of Caribbean descent! Monique made Central Florida her home in 1996. After receiving her law degree from the University of Florida in 1999, she began her career as a Public Defender in Orange County, Florida. She then went on to private practice where she continued to focus on Criminal Justice. Monique later became a clinical law professor at the University of Florida College of Law, where she trained law students who aspired to practice criminal law. Because of her passion for keeping youth out of the criminal justice system, Monique developed and implemented the Your Future, Your Choice program to teach youth their rights and responsibilities as citizens. Monique became a founding director of the University’s Criminal Justice Center and developed a rigorous program that has produced many criminal law practitioners across the state of Florida. Monique left the University of Florida to become the founding director of the Conviction Integrity Unit in the State Attorney’s Office in Orange County, Florida, where she led the investigation of claims for wrongful conviction. It was that experience that made her realize that change in the criminal legal system was critical and must come from within. Monique is an accomplished criminal justice attorney, with experience as a leader, advocate, educator, and administrator. Prior to being elected as State Attorney, she served as Chief Legal Officer at a non-profit organization focused on criminal justice reform. Monique was elected to bring reform to a criminal legal system that is fundamentally flawed, in order to achieve equity and to move our system towards justice.

  • Jessica Yeary -Jessica Yeary is Public Defender for Florida’s Second Judicial Circuit. This includes Leon, Gadsden, Wakulla, Franklin, Jefferson, and Liberty counties. A criminal defense attorney for over a decade, she is Board Certified in Criminal Trial Law and proudly served two terms as President of the Tallahassee Chapter of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Yeary has defended thousands of clients accused of a broad range of crimes from initial arrests to jury trials. She spent her early years as an assistant public defender - defending over 200 clients at a time in county court – before being promoted to felony court where she represented clients accused of lower-level felonies up to homicides. As the elected Public Defender, she continues to handle cases in the courtroom and is currently defending all of the children charged as adults in her office. She was born and raised in Cape Coral, Florida and attended the University of Florida and Stetson University College of Law. She is married to Attorney Ryan Yeary of Caminez & Yeary PA in Monticello and they are the proud parents of two boys Tucker and Tanner.