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Grace Forum with LaDoris Hazzard Cordell: Her Honor  (In-Person) 

Sunday, October 16 @ 9:30 am 10:30 am

As the Senate’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson made clear, an understanding of the judicial system is more important than ever. In Her Honor: My Life on the Bench…What Works, What’s Broken, and How to Change It, Judge LaDoris Hazzard Cordell provides a rare and thought-provoking insider account of our legal system, sharing vivid stories of the cases that came through her courtroom and revealing the strengths, flaws and much-needed changes within our courts. 

Judge Cordell, the first African American woman to sit on the Superior Court of Northern California, knows firsthand how prejudice has permeated our legal system. And yet, she believes in the system. From ending school segregation to legalizing same-sex marriage, its progress relies on legal professionals and jurors who strive to make the imperfect system as fair as possible.  

Join attorney and Grace Cathedral Trustee Tobias Keller in a conversation with Judge Cordell about what our legal system, for better or worse, means to the everyday lives of all Americans. 

The Forum will be posted on our Youtube channel for viewing.    

Buy the Book 

Her Honor is exceptional—an instant classic that will undoubtedly enter the canon of the greats of nonfiction. As funny and charming as Bill Bryson, but as powerful and eye-opening as Bryan Stevenson, Her Honor, part memoir, part primer on America’s court system is a joy, a revelation, and an education…Judge Cordell is exactly what America needs right now.” 

—SUSANNAH CAHALAN, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Brain on Fire and The Great Pretender 

Listen PBS NewsHour interview about the April 7th Senate vote on Judge Jackson 

About the Guest 

Judge LaDoris Hazzard Cordell is a legal commentator and police reform advocate, who is a frequent commentator on news outlets including NPR, CNN and MSNBC. A graduate of Stanford Law School, she became the first African American woman jurist in Northern California, a position she held from 1982 to 2001. Prior to her time on the bench, she was the first lawyer to open a private practice in East Palo Alto, a low-income community of color, and was an Assistant Dean of Stanford Law School where she implemented a highly successful minority admissions program. Following her retirement from the bench, she was a Vice Provost at Stanford University and, in 2010, was appointed the Independent Police Auditor for the City of San Jose. Judge Cordell’s public service record spans decades, during which time she has overseen commissions that investigated violence and mental health care in the jail system, as well as accounts of racism in the San Francisco police department. She has received numerous awards, including Silicon Valley NAACP’s William E.B. Dubois Award, the Iola Williams Public Service Award, the National Council of Negro Women’s Public Service Award, the Social Justice Award from Legal Advocates for Children & Youth and the Rose Bird Memorial Award from the California Women Lawyers. Judge Cordell founded the African American Donor Task Force to increase black participation in the national bone marrow registry. She is the co-founder of the African American Composer Initiative and CA Parks for All. An artist and pianist, she resides in California with her partner and is the proud mother of two daughters. 

About the Moderator 

Tobias Keller counsels clients in a variety of industries dealing with financial distress, advising on dislocations arising from excessive leverage, uncontrolled litigation or unanticipated employee or vendor problems, and the governance questions that arise in connection with those challenges. He regularly lectures for organizations on governance, distressed mergers and acquisitions and various restructuring topics. He is a fellow in the American College of Bankruptcy and has been recognized as a leading lawyer in publications including Chambers USA. 

About  The  Forum  

The Forum is a series of stimulating conversations about faith and ethics in relation to the important issues of our day. We invite inspiring and illustrious people to sit down for a real conversation with the Forum’s host and with you. Our guests range from artists, inventors and philosophers to pop culturists and elected officials, but the point of The Forum is singular: civil, sophisticated discourse that engages minds and hearts to think in new ways about the world.  More about Grace Forum

Event Details

The Forum takes place in Gresham Hall, on the lower level of the cathedral. Enter from the garage or Taylor Street, or from the lower doors on California Street.

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