Justice Melody J. Stewart, Ohio’s first elected African American Supreme Court Justice, is set to share her journey and detail how she navigated her career during a special keynote discussion.
The free discussion will be Thursday, Sept. 26, from 7-8 p.m. at the University of Dayton’s Kennedy Union building. Burnette Clingman, a management and leadership expert and founder of Burnette Clingman Enterprises, will moderate.
Stewart’s address follows a VIP reception and includes a one-on-one interview with Clingman with open questions from the audience. Afterward, attendees have the opportunity to take pictures with Stewart.
Speaking with Clingman, she noted her excitement about wanting to organize the event after attending Justice Stewart’s swearing-in ceremony in January.
“I approached her and asked her to speak to our students and community at the University of Dayton,” recounted Clingman. “She instantly said, ‘Let’s do it. You put the program together, and I will be there.’”
Stewart is expected to speak on a variety of topics during the program, including themes of determination and resilience. Drawing on personal experiences, she will also discuss the importance of embracing courage and creating a trustworthy circle of friends and mentors.
Clingman thinks the timing of the keynote is ideal for Dayton.
“With all that has happened in Dayton this past year, it’s a great time for Justice Stewart to empower and show love to our community,” she said.