One Atlanta city is shattering a major glass ceiling for both women and minorities.
Channel 2 Action News has learned that South Fulton is the first American city in which every criminal justice department head is an African-American woman.
A photo by Reginald Duncan taken for "The Atlanta Voice" this week has made waves on the internet. The powerful image shows eight women staring unflinchingly at the camera inside a courtroom at the City of South Fulton's Municipal Court.
Six of those women hold the highest positions in the city's law enforcement arm: Chief of Police Sheila Rogers, Chief Judge Tiffany Carter Sellers, Court Administrator Lakesiya L. Cofield, Clerk of Court Ramona Howard, Solicitor LaDawn Jones and Public Defender Viveca Powell.
“This is something that happened organically, but it’s a wonderful thing,” Sellers said. “We bring our experience as African-American women, mothers and wives to the table every day. So when we’re making those decisions, we certainly don’t forget our experiences.”
Sellers told Channel 2 Action News that despite their accomplishment, all of the women in their South Fulton offices remain focused on their work, not making history.
“I don’t think anyone is going around thinking we’re going to make history and break barriers. We’re just doing our jobs,” Sellers said. “We are all here and invested in the community, and I think that’s what makes it special.”
Sellers said she often works 14 hours a day, doing her part to keep this city safe.
The newly incorporated city's police force and Municipal Court just began operating in March.