Judge gives keynote to campus

Black History Month


Judge Everret Mitchell speaks to Black Student Union and Psi Phi fraternity members about the importance of racial justice within the state of Wisconsin on Feb. 7, 2023.

Katie Popp, Campus News Editor

In honor of Black History Month, the Black Student Union collaborated with Psi Phi Fraternity to welcome Dane County Circuit Court Judge Everett Mitchell as a keynote speaker Tuesday, Feb. 7 in Hyland Hall. A UW-Madison graduate, Mitchell specializes in protecting children’s right to fair justice.

“The reason I became a judge, is because I recognize that who you have at the table makes a huge difference on what justice you receive,” said Mitchell. 

Many UW-W students could relate to the speaker because he is a first-generation college student. Explaining his path to success inspired the audience, hearing about how he received degrees from Morehouse College, Princeton theological Seminary and UW-Madison Law School. 

“One of the things I always tell people about my life is that it is important that people understand that justice really is not what you say. Justice is what you do,” said Mitchell. “There has to be enduring mechanisms that help us understand we are doing things to impact people’s lives.”

Mitchell worked within the justice system through Wisconsin prisons in the past and is now an adjunct professor at UW-Madison Law School where he has created two courses based on racial justice.

“I teach two courses – one on race, racism, and law,” said Mitchell. “I developed that course after George Floyd’s death to better help law school students understand the legal complications of how race has evolved in the legal system and morphed into the very different ways in which we see discrimination happening in our world. 

This April 4 the ballot for the Wisconsin Supreme Court will open to Wisconsin citizens. Everett Mitchell (Windsor, liberal), Jennifer Dorow (Hartland, conservative), Daniel Kelley (North Prairie, conservative), and Janet Protasiewicz (Franklin, liberal) will be on the ballot. Primary votes will take place Feb. 21.

Voting will take place for Whitewater students in the Hamilton Room of the University Center. 

To learn more about the Wisconsin Supreme Court and the 2023 vote visit Wicourts.gov.