Look for the launch of our newly named organization and website coming soon.

In the spring of 2013, the JTBF board of directors and advisory council, facilitated by JTBF staff, voted to change the organization name from Just The Beginning Foundation (JTBF) to Just The Beginning – A Pipeline Organization (JTB-APO) to more clearly define its overall mission and vision.

 

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J. Curtis Joyner

J. Curtis Joyner

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Born: Newberry, South Carolina-April 18, 1948.
Education: Central State University (B.S. 1971); Howard University School of Law (J.D. 1974).
Judge Joyner was appointed to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on May 29, 1992. He was appointed by the first President Bush.

J. Curtis Joyner was the first college graduate in his immediate family, and also the first lawyer and judge. Judge Joyner credits his parents with being the strongest influences in his life:

My parents . . . instilled in me those characteristics and morals that are essential for success and survival in the world. They encouraged me to reach for the unreachable and to dream the impossible dream.

Also, as a teenager during the civil rights movement, Joyner's participation in the NAACP Youth Council made him aware of the many contributions the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and African-American lawyers were making for the cause of African-American people. It was that realization which spurred his desire to become a lawyer.

After graduating from law school, Judge Joyner began his professional career in 1974 as a Legal Publications Specialist with the Office of the Federal Register in Washington, D.C., where he was responsible for analyzing, drafting and editing legislation and presidential documents during the Ford Administration. From 1975 to 1980, Judge Joyner prosecuted felony, misdemeanor and juvenile cases as an Assistant District Attorney for Chester County, Pennsylvania. In 1980, he became Chief Deputy District Attorney for Chester County, the third highest ranking official in the District Attorney's Office. Judge Joyner held this position until 1984, when he became the First Assistant District Attorney for Chester County, Pennsylvania and, thus, the second highest ranking official in the District Attorney's Office.

Prior to ascending to the federal bench, Judge Joyner was a judge of the Court of Common Pleas Fifteenth Judicial District, West Chester, Pennsylvania. Judge Joyner was appointed to the federal bench by President Bush in 1992.

Judge Joyner has had several "firsts" in his career. He was the first African-American member of the Chester County Bar Association. He was also the first African-American Assistant District Attorney in Chester County, Pennsylvania. In March 1987, he became the first African-American judge in the history of the Chester County Bench, which dates back over 100 years. In November 1987, Judge Joyner was elected to a ten year term as Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County, again becoming the first African-American to ever be elected to any county-wide office in a General Election.

Judge Joyner cites honesty, intelligence, hard work and thoroughness as the traits that are important to individuals seeking a legal career. He also advises that any goal can be accomplished if you "work hard, prepare well and persevere in your desire."

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