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Britney Deas Makes History as First Black Woman Chief Justice at University of Florida Supreme Court

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February 22, 2024

She’s only 25-years-old!

Britney Deas is a student at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, and she just became the first Black Woman Chief Justice at the University’s Supreme Court.

The Haitian Miami-native aimed to build a respectful career in Florida and make a difference, according to The Alligator, the student-run newspaper for the University of Florida. Now with this historic appointment, she’s able to make a difference for her fellow students. As the first Black woman to hold the prestigious position, she will be an inspiration and representation for those looking to follow in her career path.

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“The most important aspect of representation is… knocking down self doubt,” Deas told The Alligator. “You can see the chain reaction that [representation] sets forth,” 

Deas received the news that she had made history by becoming the Chief Justice on February 1, 2024, at the start of Black History Month. “Black history is American history,” she said about her achievement. “It’s important to know where you come from so you can know where you’re going.”

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Making history is nothing new for Deas. During her time at the University of Florida, she was the first Black woman to be student body president and the first woman to hold the position in 20 years. She became involved in student government as a street teamer during her freshman year. She was then elected as a senator, where she received the Senator of the Year award. 

As chief justice, the 25-year-old–alongside four associate justices–will oversee hearings, disputes, appeals, and ensure fairness for students. She acts as the point of contact for anything being submitted for review. Deas also has her own personal goals for her tenure, such as creating a law school checklist for undergrad students interested in applying, hosting a panel of constitutional lawyers professors, and inviting Florida judges, attorneys, and public defenders to speak about their careers. 

Deas has always been a hard worker, her mother raised her that way.

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“I was always inspired by women fighting oppression and women who are standing up for people who cannot stand up for themselves,” Deas said. “I saw it in my home with my grandmother, my great grandmother and my mother.”

Her mother taught her that she had three strikes against her since she was a Black woman from an immigrant family. It drove her to work harder. Now that all of that hard work is paying off, she hopes to spend her career living out the lessons taught to her by her mother and helping Black women achieve their full potential. 

“Breaking down barriers for Black women and women in general has always been profound and deeply, deeply meaningful to me,” she said.

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Cover photo: Britney Deas Makes History As First Black Woman Chief Justice At University of Florida Supreme Court / Photo credit: Madilyn Gemme

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Barbara J Warren
Barbara J Warren
1 month ago

Congratulations Justice Deas.

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