Judge Bernice B. Donald is the recipient of the 2020 Liberty Achievement Award.
Sponsored by Thomson Reuters, the award was established to recognize attorneys and judges for leadership roles in promoting diversity in the profession of law.
Donald is currently a Circuit Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Prior to that, Donald sat on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee.
Judge Donald was the first African-American woman to serve as a bankruptcy judge and the first African-American woman to serve as a judge in Tennessee when she served on the General Sessions Criminal Court.
A senior lecturing fellow at the Regent University School of Law, she is active in the American, National, Tennessee, and Memphis Bar Associations, as well as in the Ben F. Jones chapter of the National Bar Association.
Donald, a member of the American Law Institute, also chaired the American Bar Association Commission on Opportunities for Minorities in the Profession – now the Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession..
She has chaired the Memphis Diversity Institute and the Commission on Opportunities for Minorities in the legal profession. She works with Leadership Memphis to provide leadership training for Memphis Housing Authority residents. Donald co-founded 4-Life, a skills training and enrichment program for students.