For Immediate Release:
TAMPA, FL (September 28, 2018) – State Senator Arthenia Joyner, a Democrat from Tampa, a civil rights pioneer and political trailblazer, has been appointed to the board of Ruth’s List Florida.
“I am very happy to join the Board of Directors of Ruth’s List. Not only because it represents the chance to continue public service, but because this pioneering organization is dedicated to ensuring that ALL members of the public are truly served.” said Senator Joyner. “I look forward to continuing that mission, and helping women take their rightful position in our democracy, representing the citizens of Florida. ”
Throughout her distinguished career in law and politics, Senator Joyner has broken many racial and gender barriers. After receiving her J.D. from Florida A&M University College of Law in 1968, she became the first black woman to serve in Tallahassee since Reconstruction, the first black woman to practice law in Hillsborough and Polk counties, and she remains the longest practicing black woman lawyer in the history of Florida.
“Ruth’s List Florida is honored and thrilled to add the Honorable Arthenia Joyner to our organization’s strong leadership,” Pamela Goodman, President/CEO of Ruth’s List Florida, said. “She has served Florida citizens throughout her life, but women especially have benefited from her wisdom, courage and determination for equal and civil rights. Her contribution to our team is going to be a priceless addition.”
Ruth’s List Florida, founded in 2008 to support pro-choice, Democratic women who wish to run for office across the state, offers access to networks, campaign training and staff training. Since its founding, the organization has raised more than $5 million for candidates, trained 1,800 women in how to run and manage a successful campaign, and, most importantly, has helped achieve 90 victories.
Senator Joyner has been at the forefront of Florida’s civil rights battles since 1960 when she participated in a demonstration while a student at Tampa’s Middleton High. Her activism continued at Florida A&M University, and on into the national arena, when she was arrested in 1985 at the South African Embassy in Washington, DC, protesting apartheid.
Senator Joyner began her rise to national prominence in 1973 when she was elected Treasurer of the National Bar Association, then President in 1984. In 1991, she became the first African American to be appointed by a governor (Governor Lawton Chiles) to the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority, where she served for eight years.
Appointments by President Clinton to the U.S. delegation for the World Population Development Conference, Cairo, Egypt (1994), the U.N. Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing (1995) and the Federal Aviation Administration Advisory Council (1999-2000) brought her even wider acclaim.
Senator Joyner then returned to Florida to run for state office, serving three terms as a member of the Florida House of Representatives from the 59th District. Subsequently elected to the Florida Senate, she served the people of the 18th District and the 19th District, and was elected the first black woman Senate Minority Leader (2014-2016).
The recipient of many awards and honors, including the National Black Caucus of State Legislators’ (NBCSL) Lifetime Achievement Award, the President’s Award from Florida A & M University, and the Hillsborough County Women’s Hall of Fame, Senator Joyner has also been honored by the Democratic Caucus in the Florida Senate, who named their annual political dinner for women after her: The Annual Arthenia L. Joyner Women in Politics Dinner. The Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners and the Tampa-Hillsborough Library Board recently named its new $9.3 million library in her honor.
During her long career in public life, Senator Joyner has demonstrated a deep commitment to her foundational values of service, equality, and civil rights, and has shown an unwavering dedication to her constituents in Tampa, and the people of Florida.
Contact: Pamela Goodman
Ruth’s List Florida