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Chesapeake, VA Renames Park In Honor Of First Black Woman Juvenile Court Judge

Chesapeake, VA Renames Park In Honor Of First Black Woman Juvenile Court Judge

The retired judge is honored!

Chesapeake, Virginia, just renamed a local park in honor of the first Black woman Juvenile Court judge in the city, 10 Wavy News reports. 

This week, the Chesapeake City Council voted unanimously to rename Courtyard Square Park at the municipal center in honor of Judge Eileen Olds, the first Black woman judge to serve on the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court in Chesapeake. 

In 1995, Dr. Olds made history as the first woman and first Black person to preside over the Juvenile Court in Chesapeake. In 2007, she became the only Virginia resident to become president of the American Judges Association. Olds’ identical twin sister was one of the leading advocates pushing the council to rename the park in her sister’s honor.

The Olds Sisters. Photo Courtesy of 10 Wavy News

In May, Dr. Olds learned that her name had been quietly scrapped, the council choosing to name the building for Circuit Court Judge E. Preston Grissom, who passed away in 2019. Many called the move sexist and racist, and once the judge’s family found out about the scandal, they rescinded their support of the renaming. 

Council members Don Carey and Steven Best then picked up the torch to rename the park after Judge Olds, imploring the council to do the right thing. They have now approved Courtyard Square Park to be named the Honorable Judge Eileen Olds Square Park, along with $80,000 for the renaming and renovations. 

“I’m feeling history. I’m thinking of a lot of memories...I don’t like to dwell on what went wrong, but last night was a big first step,” said Olds. 

The new park will feature a lighted clock tower, a bronze plaque, and new and improved landscaping. 

Congratulations, Dr. Olds! Because of you, we can!

Photo Courtesy of Chesapeake Television/YouTube