A circuit judge of the 10th Judicial Court of Alabama will serve as guest speaker of the Northern Marianas Humanities Council’s special program to mark Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the CNMI on the evening Jan. 20 at the American Memorial Park Theater.
Judge Helen Shores Lee’s presentation, “From Dynamite Hill to the Halls of Justice: Continuing the Legacy of Dr. King through Service,” will start at 5pm and is free of charge to the public.
Lee will also make a series of presentations at public and private high schools, facilitate a film discussion session, and give a Continuing Legal Education presentation to members of the CNMI Bar Association.
Lee was appointed circuit judge of the 10th Judicial Court of Alabama by Gov. Don Siegelman and assumed the bench in January 2003. She became the first African-American woman to serve in the Civil Division of the Circuit Court of Jefferson County.
Prior to this, Lee served as magistrate for the city of Birmingham. She practiced law in the Birmingham community for more than 16 years with the firm of Shores and Lee until her judicial appointment in 2003.
Lee is a graduate of Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. She also earned a M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University and a Juris Doctorate from Samford University, Cumberland School of Law. She is a member of the American Bar Association, Alabama State Bar, Birmingham Bar, and National Bar Association.
She has also served on the boards of numerous civic organizations.
"As a child, I learned from my parents early the importance of giving back to the community. As an adult, I have found that giving of your time and service can be one of the most rewarding experiences in life. If I am to promote the welfare of my community and make my city a better place to live, then I must get involved and I must give of my time, my service, and myself for the benefit of others. This is the model I follow in my professional career and personal life," she said.
Lee has also co-authored a book, The Gentle Giant of Dynamite Hill, that chronicles the history of her father’s struggle for civil rights in Birmingham during the Jim Crow era.