“The Honorable Judge Claudia Jordan has had a painting hanging in her chamber for more than two decades. A Black man leans over a wall, blue sky and clouds above him. He reaches down to grasp a hand — also Black — that extends upward toward him.
The painting was a gift Jordan received when she was sworn in to Denver County Court as the first Black female judge in the entire Rocky Mountain region. That was in 1994. Now she’s technically retired, but she still presides over the courtroom when she’s needed.
And the painting? She’s planning to pass it on to another Black woman — one of the newest judges appointed to the bench in Colorado this year, the Honorable Judge Jill Dorancy.
“It’s really pretty powerful for me,” said Dorancy, who serves in Denver District Court, “because that’s exactly what it is when you have judges and attorneys who help each other.”
Colorado courts have historically struggled with diversity. The Denver Post recently reported that about 40 percent of defendants in Colorado are Black or Latino. And yet, only about 10 percent of district court judges are Black or Latino.”
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Budner, Ali. Colorado Public Radio 19 October 2020.