Lynsie McKeown, host of Women Thriving Unapologetically radio, sits down this week with guest Judge Victoria Pratt for a one-on-one conversation about The Power of Dignity; How Transforming Justice Can Heal Our Communities. The show airs live on the VoiceAmerica Empowerment Channel September 8, 2022 10:00am ET / 7:00am PT. Replay on demand.

“Judge I want to tell you something, I want to tell you something. I’ve been watching you and you ain’t two-faced. You treat everybody the same.” This was said to Judge Victoria Pratt by a transgender prostitute after the judge said her male name low enough so it could be picked up by the record, and said her female name loud enough so she could walk down the aisle to counsel’s table with dignity.

Judge Pratt has seen firsthand how the U.S court system today demeans those who are unfortunate enough to cross its path. With a focus on punishment instead of reform, our system ignores the realities of race, poverty, and mental illness. An experience for the average person in a courtroom is colored with confusion and disrespect, from being herded through security to the challenges of navigating complex legal terms and excessive bail determinations. Judge Pratt shares with our audience a better path forward: procedural justice, the simple idea that people will obey the law if they are treated with dignity, respect, and fairness by the justice system. Judge Pratt’s human-centered approach understands how social ills and poverty drive people into the system and provides solutions for better outcomes.

Growing up as the daughter of an African-American sanitation worker and a Dominican beauty salon owner in New Jersey, Pratt learned at a young age to treat everyone with dignity and respect, no matter their background. Spending weekends at the salon with her mother, she listened to the African American, Latina, and immigrant women reflect on their lives. And she watched as her mother, in broken English, offered support to the homeless, despondent, and drug-addicted populations in the neighborhood. Carrying these ideals with her as she became a judge, and later the Chief Judge of the Newark Municipal Court, Pratt found that showing people respect throughout the process not only changed lives, it transformed the way justice was done in her community.

Pratt shows us, when everyone is treated with dignity and respect, the possibilities for our communities are limitless.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR The Honorable Victoria Pratt served as the chief judge of the Newark Municipal Court, is a professor at the Rutgers Newark School of Criminal Justice, and has taught at the Rutgers School of Law. Her TED talk, “How Judges Can Show Respect,” has been viewed over thirty million times. She lives in Montclair, New Jersey.

ABOUT HOST Lynsie McKeown Lynsie is a Women’s Empowerment Coach and Spiritual Mentor, a lineage Yoga and Meditation Teacher, a certified Neuroencoding Specialist, TEDx Speaker and Radio Show Host of Women Thriving Unapologetically.

Women Thriving Unapologetically is a sanctuary for women to celebrate what it means to be a woman who claims her self-worth, nurtures her connection to spirit, empowers her vision, and thrives, in spite of life’s challenges.

Contact Lynsie @

Keywords: Judge Victoria Pratt, justice, community, TEDx, dignity, respect, Lynsie McKeown, thriving, court system, poverty, leadership, women, empowerment, procedural justice

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