Judge Kerwin A. Miller Sr., who graduated from Mary Washington in 1995, will deliver the virtual keynote address on Wednesday, Feb. 10, for the James Farmer Multicultural Center’s Black History Month celebration.
As a young teenager growing up in the Bronx, Miller came across an article about how unlikely it was for an African American male to graduate high school. Taking that news story as both an insult and a challenge, he vowed he’d have a different outcome. At Mary Washington, he excelled both in the classroom as a business administration major and on the court as a member of the Eagles basketball team.
A few years later, Miller found himself in a different kind of court after earning a juris doctorate from Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles. He became an attorney with the Legal Aid Bureau in Baltimore, and worked his way through the legal system, serving as a public defender, assistant state’s attorney and eventually an administrative law judge. In 2019, he was sworn in by Governor Larry Hogan as the second African American judge in the history of Harford County, Maryland.
Outside the courtroom, Miller spends his time with his wife, Alethea “Lisa” Patillo Miller ’96, and their two teenage children, and also teaches law classes at the University of Maryland. Many of his former students have said how meaningful it was to learn from a practicing Black attorney and judge.
“I realized it’s important for them to see this, and they are telling me as much,” Miller told the University of Mary Washington Alumni Magazine last fall. “I felt it was an obligation as part of my service to the community to continue to be there.” Miller hopes to impart some of the same wisdom to UMW students on Wednesday. Register for the event.
In addition to Miller’s keynote, the James Farmer Multicultural Center will host events throughout February as part of Black History Month, including discussions, film screenings, music performances, dance classes, game nights, African American cuisine and more. Most events will be held virtually and several require registration. To learn more, please visit https://students.umw.edu/multicultural/programs/black-history-month-celebration/.
- Black Cultural Jeopardy, Feb. 8
- Caribbean Lunch, Feb. 9
- FuncSoul Beyoncé Dance Class, Feb. 9
- “What is it like Being Black at UMW?” intergenerational discussion, Feb. 11
- Trap N’ Zumba, Feb. 12
- Human Rights Film Series: John Lewis: Good Trouble, Feb. 15
- Creole/Cajun Mardi Gras Dinner, Feb. 16
- Jazz Ensemble Black History Tribute to Iconic Jazz Greats, Feb. 16
- Screening of The Black Church: This is Our Story, This is Our Song – Part One, Feb. 17
- James Monroe Museum Presents New History at Highland, Feb. 18
- History of Hip-Hop and Shoe Culture, Feb. 22
- African Cuisine Dinner, Feb. 23
- Screening of The Black Church: This is Our Story, This is Our Song – Part Two, Feb. 24
- R&Bingo, Feb. 26