Justice Whitener is the first Black, openly LGBTQ, judge in the state of Washington
Justice G. Helen Whitener on April 13, 2020 was appointed to the Washington State Supreme Court by Governor Jay Inslee. Justice Whitener is a former Pierce County Superior Court Judge, a former Judge on the Washington State Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals, and a former Pro-Tem Judge in Pierce County District Court as well as the City of Tacoma Municipal Court. Justice Whitener also previously worked as a Prosecuting and Defense Attorney. Justice Whitener is very active locally, nationally, and internationally and speaks often on human rights, access to justice, and the rights and responsibility of the judiciary in ensuring the rights of all that appear before the court to basic dignity and respect in judicial proceedings. She is co-chair of the Washington State Minority and Justice Commission and serves on the Board of Directors of the International Association of LGBT Judges (IALGBTJ) and is a judicial member of the Advisory Council for the QLaw Association of Washington.