Our History

Story About Us
How it all began

Who are we?

On January 13, 1982, a small group of African-American judges met in Chicago, at the Community Insurance Company, to discuss problems common to black judges. This meeting, called by Judge Charles J. Durham, led to the formation of the Illinois Judicial Council.

October 18, 1983

The IJC was incorporated. The incorporators were Judges Russell R. DeBow, Marion Garnett, Glenn T. Johnson, William E. Peterson, Albert S. Porter, Lucia T. Thomas, Durham, Braden and Justice Wilson. Judges Sophia H. Hall, James L. Harris, William Sylvester White, DeBow, Peterson and Justice Wilson formed the first Board of Directors.

Organizational Purpose

The stated purpose of the corporation was to “enhance the image of the judiciary and to improve the quality of life in the community through educational enlightenment as to the manner in which the legal process serves the community.

Community Involvement

IJC members work with community groups such as the Cook County Bar Association, Black Women Lawyers’ Association, Illinois State Bar Association, Illinois Judges Association, Rainbow PUSH Coalition, Chicago Bar Association, and numerous other churches and civic groups presenting educational programs regarding the court system

Charitable Arm

IJC Foundation

The Illinois Judicial Council Foundation is the charitable arm of the IJC. The IJC has grown to an organization of over 100 members. While it is primarily composed of African-American judges and judicial officers of the state, it has grown to include judges and judicial officials representing a myriad of ethnicities, as well as judges who serve on the federal bench.

Current Officers

Take a look at our current Illinois Judicial Council staff.

Past Presidents

Reflect on some of our past Illinois Judicial Council Presidents.