Municipal Court Judge Honored with Thurgood Marshall Award

Dec 20, 2023

Providence, RI – Providence Municipal Court Associate Judge, the Honorable Vanessa Crum, is set to receive the prestigious 2023 Thurgood Marshall Award from the NAACP Providence Branch for her substantial and long-term contributions to civil rights, civil liberties, or human rights in Rhode Island. Judge Crum is the first African American woman to sit on the municipal court bench.

“This award is significant to me because I want our Providence youth of color to see me and know that they can do the same,” said Judge Crum. “As a public servant, representation really matters. I’ve learned that you may not want to be the ‘first’ or the ‘only one,’ but just do it! Trust that you are where you are supposed to be.”

“I applaud the NAACP’s Providence Branch for acknowledging Judge Crum’s numerous contributions to our city and state,” said City Council President Rachel Miller (Ward 13). “I’m incredibly proud of the work she is accomplishing for our court, for women, and the people of Providence.

Judge Crum was first elected to the Providence Municipal Court in January 2023. Crum is a retired attorney with nearly 40 years of legal experience, which includes serving as an attorney and administrator for the Rhode Island Department of Transportation and a former administrator for the City of Providence. Crum also served on the city’s Ethics Commission. Judge Crum was born and raised in Providence and graduated from the Wheeler School, Johns Hopkins University, and Columbus School of Law.

The Thurgood Marshall Award will be presented at the NAACP’s 110th Freedom Fund Gala on Thursday, December 21, 2023, at the Rhode Island Convention Center, beginning at 4 PM.

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