We all need someone “in our corner”. Advocacy is such an important concept, and Janetta Kearney lives in that realm each and every day. As an attorney, Janetta spends her busy days doing just that--advocating for those who need it. She works tirelessly in pursuit of educational rights, and uses her skills to also facilitate dispute resolutions through mediation. She knew at an early age that advocacy was her path in life. C-Suite Pics is privileged and honored to introduce Janetta to you!
What is your “day job”?
While I am semi-retired, I remain busy in the roles of attorney, Dispute Resolution Mediator/Facilitator, and as an Education Rights Professional.
Who were your heroes, or mentors?
I have two that I consider as my hero or mentor. First, is Jesus Christ. Second is Ethel Curry Kearney, my mother.
When did you decide you were an Attorney, and that this would be your journey?
In about the 5th grade, I decided that I would be an advocate. At the time, I thought it would take the form of a roving reporter, where the “truth and only the truth” of matters would make a difference, in the lives of all of the afflicted and especially for persons who “had no voice”. As time passed, I developed into a very observant person and a consummate analyst. After taking debate team class work in the 6th grade, it was clear that analysis and interpretation of the “truth” is necessary, in light of laws and regulations that are too often justified against the voiceless. History and the U.S. Constitution became a big interest to me, and though I was quiet and somewhat of an introverted loner, I found little fear in confronting wrongdoing, whether by leaders, officers or teachers--again, in favor of the invisible or the voiceless.
After being laughed at by the registrar of the local HBCU college when I went to enroll as a journalism major at age 17, I determined more influence was needed, and the idea of becoming an attorney started to fill my mind and my short list of career options.
If you weren’t a lawyer, what would life look like?
If I hadn’t become a lawyer, I believe that I would be a paid mediatory/rights facilitator. My life would be filled with advocacy in one way or another, if I were not an attorney. I believe my life purpose is to advocate on behalf of people. My passionate focus today is on the lack of preparation by the school system for struggling and labeled youth. My goal is to be funded in such a way that I can work full-time with disappointed or troubled children and youth--using my own errors and the wrong paths that I have seen during my lifetime--to help guide young people into a productive and “conflict minimized” path, and away from jails, prison, and mediocrity.
If you had it all to do over again, would you do anything different?
Yes. I would spend more time being present: really seeing the efforts of my mentors and role models. I would be thankful for my gifts, and refuse to apologize for the excellence that I posses, as opposed to trying to convince others that I have average talent, or that I am not as brilliant as I am, in order to appease others.
What do you do, for you, that brings you absolute joy or peace?
I travel, pray, meditate, and take time outs. Additionally, I surround myself with folks who find satisfaction in some of the same disciplines that I do, while keeping balance to ensure others' ideas are available to me so that I keep learning and growing.
What would you like your epitaph to be? In one word, what is it that you want people to remember about you?
EXHORTER! I want to be remembered as a person who wants to and is willing to help, and who shares resources using divine wisdom.
Is there anything else you wish I had asked you?
No, I can't think of anything else.