Judge Carolyn Walker-Diallo is a New York City Judge and a long-time resident of the East New York area of Brooklyn. We here at NYC Newswire received an opportunity to speak with Judge Walker-Diallo about her upbringing, her career, and what it’s like to be a Muslim woman of color in a position of power.
Check out the interview below!
NYC NEWSWIRE: How long have you been in New York?
Judge Walker-Diallo: I have lived in New York all of my life, except for when I attended The Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, the first Historically Black College and University (HBCU).
NYCNW: What schools did you attend?
JDW: I attended P.S. 290, I.S. 302 and Franklin K. Lane High School. I received a B.A. in Business Administration and Political Science from The Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, a J.D. from New York Law School and a MBA in General Management from the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College.
NYCNW: How did you find yourself in the career you’re in? What made you take this path?
JDW: I have always had a love for the law, especially since I did not see many conscious African-American lawyers adequately representing the needs of the community back in the 80s and 90s. Not to say that there weren’t, but in East New York, they were few and far between. My ascension to the bench came after years of practicing law and working on a grass-roots level in the community. God opened up the opportunity for me to run as a judge in East New York, Cypress Hills, Brownsville and Brooklyn – where I was born, raised and completed my formal education. I was, and still remain, the People’s Choice!
NYCNW: Is this the career you always wanted to pursue growing up? If not, what was the career you thought you might pursue?
JDW: Yes, I always wanted to be a lawyer but I never dreamed that I would become a judge!
NYCNW: What is it about New York City that makes you stay here?
JDW: I never thought about leaving New York City but in the past, I was advised to move out of East New York. Unfortunately, many successful young professionals are pressured, for various reasons, to leave. However, because of the hard work I observed my parents and other community leaders put into changing the community for the better, I knew that I couldn’t leave and had to continue the legacy of being the change we need to see in the world.
NYCNW: Do you have any initiatives, programs or events coming up that people should know about?
JDW: I am the Chairperson of The George Walker Jr. Community Coalition, Inc., (“GWJrCC”), a grassroots organization, which started off as the Wyona Block Association in 1989 and blossomed into a nonprofit organization by 1996. GWJrCC is named after my father in honor of his selfless sacrifice in bettering the community. GWJrCC’s mission is to educate, encourage and empower community residents by providing diverse opportunities that inspire them to lead dynamic lives. Two programs the organization is developing and will launch in 2019 is a financial literacy program for youth as well as ayurvedic culinary education workshops.
NYCNW: What advice would you give to young Muslim women of color that also aspire to work with the law?
JDW: My advice to young Muslim women of color is to: be true to who you are, what you believe, and do not let fear or bigotry stop you from living your soul’s purpose.
Image viaVoices of NY