EDITOR'S NOTE: We regularly recognize local South Jerseyans like County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae for their incredible impact in the community as well as being a role model for people of color in the region. By subscribing to FRNJ EXTRA, you can see all of our stories that shines a line on those in the South Jersey Black and Latino communities.
By Clyde Hughes | AC JosepH Media
CAMDEN – Cumberland County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae, the face of law enforcement in the region, added another accolade to her trailblazing career being named as one of four awardees at the upcoming 20th annual Walter and Leah Rand Awards and Scholarship Dinner.
The event will be held on May 3, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at The Mansion On Main Street, 3000 Main St, Voorhees Township.
A 1994 graduate of Rutgers-Camden School of Law, she will be honored with Rob Curley of TD Bank, Fred Wasiak, of the Food Bank of South Jersey and Wilbert Mitchell, of Respond, Inc. ambulance service.
"I am truly humbled to receive this award," Webb-McRae, told Front Runner New Jersey this week. "Service is the rent we pay for the gift of living on this earth."
Founded in 2000, the Senator Walter Rand Institute for Public Affairs was created to honor
Senator Rand's legacy of public service to southern New Jersey and his hometown of Camden. Senator Rand and his wife Leah shared a passion for public service and supporting programs for youth.
Each year, their work lives on through the Walter & Leah Rand Awards and Scholarship Dinner, which provides support for the mission of WRI and gives students opportunities to engage in real-world public affairs while serving the region’s residents.
"I am truly honored and thankful to the Walter Rand Institute for recognizing me and the Cumberland County Prosecutor's Office's commitment to the people of Cumberland County," Webb-McRae said.
A Vineland native, Webb-McRae was the first African American and first woman to serve as Cumberland County prosecutor when she was first appointed in 2010 and has served under both Republican and Democratic administrations.
Webb-McRae's professional affiliations have included: the Superior Court of NJ -Vicinage XV Minority Concerns Advisory Committee, serving as a trustee and officer for the Cumberland County Bar Association and being a member of the County Prosecutor’s Association of New Jersey and the Cumberland County Human Relations Commission.
A former public defender, Webb-McRae also served in private practice, concentrating in the areas of criminal and municipal court defense, business and real estate and wills and estates. She also served as a child support attorney for Cumberland County.
Webb-McRae, the only black female county prosecutor in South Jersey and one of the few in the state and region, told Front Runner New Jersey in a 2019 interview she was clear-eyed about her responsibility and position as a role model.
"I realize that I have been given this opportunity to be the first because of a lot of hard work and struggle by folk who paved a way for me,” Webb-McRae said. “I feel that it is my responsibility to pave the way for others both in law enforcement and other disciplines. I do this by speaking to young, people and telling them that I am a living testament that in the 21st century that there are still glass ceilings to be broken and they can do it.
“I also try to be a resource for young people who are finding their way. It is sometimes a lonely road being in a position where you stay in the spotlight. You quickly realize that you will never be able to please everyone. I can’t believe that God would place me here and not expect that I would pave the way for someone else. I find that to be a duty for the blessing of being given the opportunity,” she continued.
QUESTIONS: Do Blacks and Latinos need to play more of a role in the courts? Why? Add your comments to the Discussion section below.
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