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Discussion: The Two RBGs


Discussion: The Two RBGs

March 30, 2021

A program entitled Two RBGs was held virtually on March 26th as part of the Johns Hopkins Development and Alumni Relations Women's History Month Program. The title referred to both the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and to Illinois Supreme Court Justice Rita B. Garman.

Amy Helsel, the Director of Development at ‎Johns Hopkins University, hosted the program.
Justice Garman was in attendance as a special guest, describing her own journey as woman attending law school in the 1960s, initial struggles to find career opportunities in law due to her gender, and eventual rise to the bench and subsequent experience as a judge and her opportunity to meet Justice Ginsburg.

Harryette Helsel, a lifelong friend of Justice Ginsburg and mother of Amy, was the other special guest. Helsel knew Justice Ginsburg since they were both five-year-old girls living in Brooklyn and always called her by her childhood nickname “Kiki”. Helsel shared her memories of growing up with Justice Ginsburg, including how Justice

Ginsburg was responsible for Helsel meeting her husband, how their friendship endured through the years, and her experience being featured in a documentary about the late Justice’s life.

A question-and-answer session with both Justice Garman and Helsel was held after the discussion and touched on how to keep the legacy of Justice Ginsburg alive as well as the important role the late husbands of both Justice Ginsburg and Justice Garman played in their lives.