Rockdale County Chief Magistrate Judge Phinia Aten received a Pinnacle Leadership Award on February 13, 2016, at the 18th Fortitude Educational and Cultural Development Center, Inc. (FECDC) Annual Luncheon. The luncheon was held at the Renaissance Concourse Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia. Monica Pearson delivered the keynote address.
Aten was selected for this prestigious recognition because she has “displayed outstanding public service and excelled in her field of work,” wrote Jacquee Rushin, the FECDC’s award program chair, in her congratulatory letter to Aten. Aten became Rockdale’s first African American female judge in 2013, and has spearheaded several community-outreach initiatives including her Smart Justice Educational Program and Youth Law Camp among others.
“I am grateful and honored that my community engagement and service, in and outside of the court, has been recognized and valued,” said Aten during her acceptance speech. “I accept this Pinnacle Award on behalf of my family, court staff and community partners who make it possible for me to pursue my passion every day and make a positive difference in the lives of others.” Other honorees included Rep. Stacey Abrams, DeKalb County State Court Judge Shondeana Morris, Philanthropist Hank Stewart and Media Personality Rashad Ali Smith.
This honor means Aten is still enjoying a season of recognition that began last fall when she was named and honored as a trailblazer by the Rockdale-Newton Chapter of the National Council of Negro Women during its inaugural award luncheon at the Newton County Career and College Academy in Covington, Georgia on November 14, 2015. And a week later she was presented with a community service award on November 21, 2015, by the Gwinnett-based Truth and Union Lodge #594. Aten received an outstanding community service award from the Georgia Mentoring Program on December 12, 2015, during its holiday event in Conyers, Georgia.
“I realize that as “a first” I am paving the way for the next generation of lawyers and judges, and it is such a privilege and exciting opportunity. Knowing that so many have been observant and appreciative of my efforts to do a good job and help others brings me a sense of overwhelming joy and motivation,” said Aten.