A 41-year-old Black woman is celebrating obtaining her law degree 20 years after she couldn’t get accepted into any law schools.
Amber Goodwin is preparing for graduation at Mitchell Hamline School of Law, in St. Paul, Minnesota, on June 6, Good Morning America reports. It was a two-decade journey after she was rejected by her schools of choice. After obtaining her master’s degree, Goodwin founded the Community Justice Action Fund (CJAF), her gun violence prevention program focused on communities of color.
But she couldn’t fight her desire to attend law school and pursue a career on Capitol Hill.
“My mentality was: I’m going to keep applying places and they have to tell me no,” Goodwin said. “I’m not going to call the question on myself. If people tell me no, then that’s on them, and I’ll just keep trying.”
After three years of hard work, Goodwin is excited about making her dreams come true.
Sorry not sorry in advance for all the law graduation photos y’all are about to get. I’m 41, never been married, have no kids, and most days society refuses to celebrate people like me. It’s been a very rough year but this is a bright spot for many of us. It was all worth it. pic.twitter.com/yXPGs8f4Gk
— Amber Goodwin (@amberkgoodwin) May 16, 2021
“Sorry not sorry in advance for all the law graduation photos y’all are about to get,” Goodwin said in a tweet that included her cap and gown photo. “I’m 41, never been married, have no kids, and most days society refuses to celebrate people like me. It’s been a very rough year but this is a bright spot for many of us. It was all worth it.”
After going viral with the celebratory tweet, Goodwin shared her joy with the warm response and how she’s helped inspire other women.
“I didn’t expect that anyone outside of my family and friends would actually like it or tweet it,” she said. “I consider myself brave for going back to law school at 38 and not really going back with a plan of what I would do once I got out of law school. A lot of times people, especially women and Black women, are not celebrated while we’re doing things. We’re celebrated maybe when we’ve made it and are winning big cases as an attorney or doing other things like getting married or having kids.”
Photo of descendant of a slave graduating from law school in 18 days outside of the building that both enslaved our ancestors and gave us our freedom. I’ll never stop fighting for the liberation of all people. This law degree is a new tool in the tool box against oppression. pic.twitter.com/K9CJhEI6rz
— Amber Goodwin (@amberkgoodwin) May 19, 2021