The Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association Foundation last Wednesday launched its inaugural law school scholarship in honor of distinguished Barbadian-born jurist, Sylvia Hinds-Radix, currently serving as Corporation Counsel of the City of New York.
The foundation said that Hon. Sylvia Hinds-Radix Law School Scholarship is for a final year law student at Brooklyn Law School, who is interested in public service and the advancement of women in the law.
The inaugural scholarship was launched at a gala reception – attended by a plethora of judges, lawyers, business executives, family members, friends and supporters – at Giando on the Water on Kent Avenue in Brooklyn.
Michele Mirman, Esq., president of the Brooklyn Women’s Bar Foundation, told patrons that the foundation has already raised over $100,000 towards the scholarship.
“We will only succeed if we band together,” she said. “If you’re not a member, I invite you to join.
“What better name for this scholarship,” Mirman added. “We recognize Hon. Sylvia Hinds-Radix, especially being Black and an immigrant.”
Hon. Pricilla Hall – a retired associate justice of the Brooklyn Supreme Court, Second Department, who introduced Justice Hinds-Radix, a Brooklyn resident – said the judge “belongs to everything” and that she’s “a workaholic night and day.”
Justice Hinds-Radix said she was “very, very overwhelmed” by the outpouring of support, stating: “I see all of you who have touched my life and for taking time out to be here.
“Thank you, Hon. Pricilla Hall, for coming out for this significant milestone,” she said. “I’m a graduate of Howard Law School, but Brooklyn Law School has just adopted me.”
Justice Hinds-Radix said she was happy that the foundation is able to “equip someone – not just someone, a woman – to go to law school.
“What you have done here is to continue to kneel and allow others to kneel on your shoulders,” she said.
“Veronica (Krass, the inaugural scholarship recipient), if you read the young lady’s resume, you’ll see what she’s done,” Justice Hinds-Radix added. “To enter public service is not to be rich but to be rewarded.
“Remember the people you represent will rely on you,” she continued. “It’s like a ship passing by, and you’ll be a great vessel.”
Justice Hinds-Radix thanked patrons for supporting the initiative and expressed gratitude for staffers at the city’s law department, some of whom attended the gala.
She also thanked her family, including her husband Dr. Joseph Radix, a Grenadian-born dentist, stating that he’s “the wind beneath my wings.”
“I hope to make sure that women, that immigrants, that all the disenfranchised individuals, that they have a voice, because, when they do this, this country works (applause),” Justice Hinds-Radix said.
Krass, a third-year law student at Brooklyn Law School, is a first-generation law student, originally from New Jersey.
She graduated from Rutgers University in 2020, with a dual major in political science and criminal justice, and a minor in Africana Studies.
Krass has dedicated her time in law school to working with various public defense organizations and hopes to work as a public defender on graduation.
Besides Justice Hall, Afro-Caribbean-Latina members of the judiciary who attended the reception were, among others, Justices Dena Douglas, Michelle Weston, Wavny Toussaint, Genine Edwards and Carolyn Wade; and Judges Patria Frias Colon and Cenria Edwards.
Chief Clerk for Civil Matters at the Brooklyn Supreme Court Barbadian Charles A. Small also attended the event.
“I am delighted to see such an outpouring of support for the inaugural celebration of the Justice Hinds-Radix Scholarship,” Justice Douglas, a Grenadian-American, told Caribbean Life afterwards. “Justice Radix has been a mentor and sponsor to me throughout my judicial career.
“As a Caribbean American jurist, I’ve always admired her professionalism and dedication to the law and the Caribbean community,” she added.
Justice Hinds-Radix was appointed the 81st Corporation Counsel of the City of New York on Feb. 25, 2022 by Mayor Eric Adams.
In this role, she is the attorney for the City of New York, the mayor, the City Council and all city agencies – both mayoral and non-mayoral.
Prior to her appointment as Corporation Counsel, Justice Hinds-Radix served as an associate justice of the New York State Appellate Division, Second Department from 2012.
In December 2020, then Gov. Andrew Cuomo designated Justice Hinds-Radix as a member of the NYS Constitutional Bench.
Before joining the Appellate Division, she served as administrative judge for civil matters in the Second Judicial District for 3 ½ years.
In her capacity as administrative judge, Justice Hinds-Radix oversaw both the New York State Supreme Court, Civil Term and the New York City Civil Court, which also encompasses the Housing Court of the City of New York.
Justice Hinds-Radix was elected to the Supreme Court, Kings County in November 2004 and served as a New York City Civil Court Judge from 2002 through 2004, spending her first year in the Criminal Court of Kings County.
In 1985, soon after graduating from Howard University School of Law, Justice Hinds-Radix joined the legal staff of District Council 37 Municipal Employees Legal Services, where she remained until her Civil Court election in 2001.
While at DC 37, she practiced in the areas of civil practice, bankruptcy, and landlord/tenant, and was the general counsel of the immigration program, which she founded.
In addition to her professional responsibilities, Justice Hinds-Radix is the president of the Caribbean American Lawyers Association (CALA).
She is a former President of the Nathan K. Sobel American Inns of Court, the Supreme Court Justices Association of the City of New York and the Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association.
Justice Hinds-Radix is a Board Member of the Women in the Courts Committee, the Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association and JALBCA.
She is a member of the Board of Directors for the St. Gabriel’s Senior Citizens Center in Brooklyn and the St. John’s Bread and Life Agency.
In addition, Justice Hinds-Radix is a member of several organizations, including the Brooklyn Bar Association, the New York State Association of Supreme Court Justices, the New York State Bar Association, Catholic Lawyers Guild, Columbian Lawyers of Brooklyn, the Association of Black Women Attorneys, Puerto Rican Bar Association, Latino Judges Association, The Tribune Society, the Metropolitan Black Bar Association, the National Bar Association’s Judicial Section, and the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Inc.
Justice Hinds-Radix is the recipient of many awards, including The Gold Crown of Merit, which was conferred upon her by the Governor General of Barbados on the nation’s celebration of its 39th anniversary of its independence, one of the nation’s highest honors.
She has also been honored with the Shirley Chisholm Award by the Barbados Consulate in New York in commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of Barbados’ independence.
She has been honored with the Golda Meir Award by the Jewish Lawyers Guild, as well as the Beatrice M. Judge Award and the Sybil Hart Kooper Award by the Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association; the Distinguished Judiciary Award and the President’s Award by the Catholic Lawyers Guild; the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for the Advancement of the Caribbean Diaspora; and was named one of the Top Women in Business by the Home Reporter.
Additionally, Justice Hinds-Radix is the recipient of the 2019 New York State Bar Association’s Diversity Trailblazer Award; the 2021 Hon. Theodore “Ted” Jones Lifetime Achievement Award from the Unified Court System’s Committee to Celebrate Black History Month; and the 2021 Hon. William C. Thompson, Sr. Black History Month for Judicial Excellence.
Justice Hinds-Radix earned her Bachelors of Science Degree from the University of Massachusetts, her Master’s Degree in political science from Long Island University; and her Jurist Doctorate Degree from Howard University School of Law.
Justice Hinds-Radix also received an Honorary Doctorate from Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY).
In addition to being admitted to practice law in the State of New York, Justice Hinds-Radix is admitted to the United States Federal Court: Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.
Justice Hinds-Radix and Dr. Radix are the proud parents of three wonderful daughters – one of whom is a lawyer and another is a dentist, following in their parents’ footsteps.