At the age of 28, Shequeena McKenzie has shattered barriers and made history as the first Black female judge in the city of McComb, Mississippi. Her achievement represents a significant milestone in the legal profession and is a testament to her hard work, faith, and unwavering determination. In an interview with WJTV, McKenzie described the moment as surreal and a culmination of her dedicated efforts to create positive change.
McKenzie, a McComb native, has harbored a lifelong aspiration to become a lawyer and be a catalyst for transformation. She pursued a degree in Political Science with a minor in Human Rights at the University of Southern Mississippi. Afterward, she relocated to Jackson and enrolled at the Mississippi College School of Law, where she not only earned her law degree but also graduated Cum Laude. During her time in law school, McKenzie also engaged in part-time legal practice, honing her skills and preparing herself for the challenges ahead.
Driven by her desire to make a difference, McKenzie pursued a legal career to actively address societal issues. She expressed her motivation, stating, “I went to law because I did not want to talk about what wasn’t being done. I did not want to sit there and dwell on the negativity. I asked myself what I could do to help out the world.” Inspired by the groundbreaking accomplishments of Vice President Kamala Harris, the first female and first Black vice president of the United States, McKenzie aimed to instill hope in other young women, encouraging them to overcome challenges and pursue their dreams.
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McKenzie recognizes the significance of representation and the potential hurdles faced when entering spaces where individuals may not resemble oneself. Drawing from her own experiences, she offers words of empowerment: “Sometimes you will enter the room and no one will look like you. Do not let that overcome your abilities. You belong in that room. You deserve to be in that room. It is a mindset you have to get. Once you get that mindset, do not let anyone stop you.” Through her resilience and determination, McKenzie serves as an inspiration to aspiring leaders, emphasizing the importance of self-belief and the pursuit of one’s goals.
As Shequeena McKenzie takes on her new role as the first Black female judge in McComb, Mississippi, she embarks on a journey to enact justice, promote equality, and create lasting change. Her historic achievement serves as a beacon of hope for the community, demonstrating the transformative power of dedication, faith, and a steadfast commitment to making a difference. McKenzie’s presence on the bench is a significant step forward in advancing inclusivity and diversity within the legal system, and her story will undoubtedly inspire generations to come.