A Conversation – Women of Courage and Conviction Who Changed the Law

Rosalind Newell, Marva Brooks and O.V. Brantley

I have always felt very proud and fortunate to have been mentored by Marva Jones Brooks, the first female and the first African American City Attorney for the City of Atlanta . Marva hired me  in 1983 at the City of Atlanta Law Department, and working for her shaped the rest of my life. Marva is a brilliant lawyer filled with grace. As I navigated my career in the political arena, I was often guided by the single thought of  “what would Marva do?”

So when I learned that she was going to be one of three panelists on a program at Spelman College  sponsored by the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys  and  Former Mayor Shirley Franklin, I knew I could not miss it. Mayor Franklin, who moderated the discussion,  rightly named the program A Conversation — Women of Courage and Conviction Who Changed the Law.  It was a fabulously inspiring night.

Marva spoke about her pioneering work with Mayor Maynard Jackson in the area of female and minority contracting. Her work made a difference in the lives of so many people in Atlanta and around the nation. Aside from the wonderful program, I saw so many old friends from my City of Atlanta days.

I hope you are lucky enough to have a wonderful mentor. If not, find one!

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  • Rosalind Rubens Newell  On October 22, 2010 at 12:48 PM


    Thank you for posting a comment about this event. It was wonderful for me to be there also. Marva was a significant influence in my growth and development as a lawyer. She hired me in 1987 and guided my path as a municipal attorney.

    Getting to hear Marva tell her story in this program was facinating, particularly as we continue to experience challeges to equal opportunity in government contracting. The stories of the other panelists, moderated by Mayor Franklin, were also thought-provoking. Women really can change the law!


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