- Category: Spotlight
- Created on 16 January 2014
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In the film and television industry actors go from audition to audition with the anticipation of landing that one role that will lead them to their destiny. As the result of spending much of their time training and preparing, they hope to at least hear that they have a callback.
That wasn’t the case for Judge Penny Brown Reynolds. Judge Penny began preparing for her many roles as a young girl growing up in Laplace, Louisiana, not knowing that her early life from her very conception was preparation for the roles that were written for her long before she entered into this world.
Judge Penny often shares her heartwarming story of the phenomenal woman who, through the adversity of rape, carried her to full term rather than aborting or giving her up for adoption. “My mother could have had an abortion. She considered giving me away for adoption, yet she decided to keep me,” Judge Penny shares. In the aftermath of the rape, Deforest Marie Brown’s experience transitioned from trial to treasure as she gave birth to greatness.
Although Judge Penny did not learn of the circumstances surrounding her conception until recent years and after the passing of her mother, she decided as a young child that she was going to matter. She owes this affirmation to that pivotal moment in her life at the age of eight while attending a tea party of a classmate. The mother of that classmate confronted her harshly questioning her being there, and uninvited her saying that no bastard child would be attending her daughter’s party. The distraught eight year old cried as she walked for miles back to her home. But it was at that moment when Judge Penny resolved within herself that she was going to make an impact. “The greatest gift that woman could have given me was a determination to show her and everybody that I’m not what that word was, that I belonged and it cut both ways because I spent all of my life trying to belong,” Judge Penny states.
Judge Penny has been living her life with purpose ever since. She has made many accomplishments, one being the first African American to serve as a lawyer to Georgia’s Governor. She also served as Prosecutor and Assistant Attorney General. One of her greatest accomplishments was seeing her childhood dream of becoming a judge realized. “I’ve always wanted to be a judge. I’ve never wanted to be anything other than a judge,” she shares. In 2000, she was appointed to the bench for Fulton County State Court in Atlanta, Georgia. After serving eight years, she accepted the call to preside as judge on “Family Court with Judge Penny.” The show did not return after its first season, but that didn’t bring her to a halt as she continued to move forward. Today she is an Ordained Minister, Entrepreneur, and a dynamic speaker. She uses all three platforms to encourage women to be all that they aspire to be. “I am an encourager. That is my gifting. I’ve been gifted with encouraging others,” says Judge Penny. One of the outlets that she uses to draw women together and reawaken the gifts nestled within them is her annual Women’s Empowerment Conference that’s held every November with a designated theme. The November 2013 conference entitled Sister Talk was a success, and she has already begun preparations for next year’s conference where she will aim to teach women how to obtain power and to understand that they were created for a purpose.
Judge Penny has proven to be a woman who ascends above any obstacle. She has weathered the storm of homelessness, defeated hardship, and has made it her personal business to use her experiences to help other women live a life of relevancy, which is what she realized she had to continue to do for herself in light of the revelation of her conception. “I firmly believe that nobody comes here by accident… it’s now almost irrelevant how I got here… I’ve decided to make my life relevant,” she professes.
Judge Penny decided that because she made it here, she is going to make a difference, and she started with making the decision to seek God and all that he represents first. Her daily affirmation is God will you call into existence those things that do not exist? She says, “If you’re living your life like that, you’re waiting in anticipation; how are you going to use me today?”
As Judge Penny dances to the beat of God’s drum, the rhythm leads her down various paths that allow her to operate in all of her gifts. She is the epitome of the concept behind Every Woman for she is not confined in a box of limitations. She’s the face behind entrepreneurship, a judge on the bench, God’s mouthpiece in the pulpit, and a producer behind the television. Judge Penny is truly a woman of empowerment. •