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Community Activist & Circuit Court Judge
The Honorable Reverend Everett D. Mitchell was born and reared in Fort Worth, Texas. Mitchell accepted his call to ministry at the age of 15. Upon his matriculation from high school, Judge Mitchell relocated to Atlanta, Georgia where graduated from Morehouse College with a B.A. in Mathematics and Religion. While at Morehouse, Rev. Mitchell was awarded the Presidential Scholar award in Mathematics, American Scholar award, Mathematical Scholar, National Deans List, Who’s Who Among College Students, Benjamin Mays Scholar, Top Ranking Religion Senior at Morehouse College, Student Government Service Award, Golden Key Honor Society, Deans List 1998-2000, and the Community Service Award. After Rev. Mitchell graduated Morehouse College, he was ordained at the age of 23. Read More >
Reverend Mitchell continued his educational advancement at the Princeton Theological Seminary where he received both a Masters of Divinity (M.Div.) in Christian Ethics and a Masters of Theology (Th.M.) in Social Ethics. While at Princeton Seminary, Rev. Mitchell was awarded the prestigious Princeton Presidential Fellowship and Princeton Seminary’s Jane Swoop Christian Ethics Award for the class of 2003. While in New Jersey he served the community as Executive Administrator for Imani Community Center developing creative programming for youth in the Trenton Inner City, including “College or Bust,” a college preparatory program for high school students.
Judge Mitchell graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School. While at Law School, he received the Advanced Opportunities Fellowship the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School as well as the Wisconsin Black Lawyers Award. Judge Mitchell was a member of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law Review and a Law School Mock Trial Team Member. He was also an academic math lead in the People Program. While in law school Judge Mitchell created and implemented “Tying your Tie,” a collaborative intervention between the UW-Madison Law and Business Schools that taught Dane County jail inmates basic computer and job preparation skills.
Since 2011, Judge Mitchell also serves as Senior Pastor of Christ the Solid Rock Baptist Church in Madison, Wisconsin with an over 400-member congregation. He continues to serve the congregation with passion, vision and commitment. Since becoming pastor the church he has implemented several ministries with the goal of growing as a church that loves to serve people and inclusive for all. As Pastor of Christ the Solid Rock, he led the congregation into being the only black church in Dane County that is open and affirming of those in the LGBTQ community. In 2015, he became the first pastor of a black Baptist church, in the state of WI, probably the nation, to marry a same sex couple within the church. While he has received considerable push back, he has remained committed and dedicated to his path of equity and justice.
He was formerly an Assistant District Attorney in Dane County Wisconsin. Since leaving the District Attorney’s office, he continues to provide Pro Bono legal services to disenfranchised people of Dane County and volunteer to teach young people about their legal rights and responsibilities. He also served as the Associate Director of Madison-area Urban Ministry. There he created and supervised re-entry restorative justice programs throughout Dane County to support ex-offenders; worked with faith communities to recruit and train volunteers; facilitated coordination between state prisons and faith communities. He is also the founder and lead consultant of “Re-Building You,” which worked for over 8 years with civilly committed sex offenders at Sand Ridge Secure Treatment Facility to embrace social responsibility through non-violent communication so they can be responsible leaders in their communities when released and not re-offend.
In the fall of 2013, Mitchell taught as an adjunct professor for Edgewood College in Madison, Wisconsin teaching a course entitled, Lectured on Dismantling Racism and Black Liberation Theologies. In addition, he partnered with the Urban League and Faith Community Partners to enhance the student experience. Rev. Mitchell is the co-editor of the book entitled, Breaking Silence: Pastoral Approaches to Creating an Ethos of Peace. He has published a number of articles from topics ranging from Black Theology’s impact on African American solidarity to Political Theology’s critique of America being “one nation under God.”
Reverend Mitchell was the Director of Community Relations for the University of Wisconsin Madison. He is responsible for $350,000.00 investment in South Madison “the Partnership” office space that engages University and Community Partnerships. In addition, Mr. Mitchell works on expanding the mission, opportunities and resources of the University to those members in our community that may not have been exposed to its resources.
Judge Mitchell was elected to the Dane County Circuit Court on April 5th, 2016. He took the bench on August 1st, 2016. He presides over Branch 4 in Dane County. Judge Mitchell’s current rotation is a juvenile rotation where is presides over cases of family re-unification as well as young people who commit law violations. Judge Mitchell is committed to dismantling the Child Welfare to Juvenile Delinquency to Adult Prison Pipeline operating in Dane County. During his tenure on the bench, Judge Mitchell has worked with colleagues to change court room policy so young people are not automatically placed in restraints when entering the courtroom, worked with the Madison Metropolitan School District to create an office of Youth Engagement that will provide a bridge to kids who are disconnected from any sort of educational programming, worked to ensure that children at Lincoln Hills receive haircuts on a regular basis, connected the Black Law Students Association with our Local Detention Center so those students can eat lunch with children in detention, visited 30 schools in Dane County to talk with children about the juvenile justice system and empower them to think of themselves as judges, lectured or spoken at UW Madison school of Social Work, UW Madison Law School, Edgewood College, UW Madison School of Education, WI Detention Workers Association, NAMI conference, United Way of Dane County Leaders of Color and Law Enforcement Collaboration, 1800 Days Initiative, Stoughton School District, YU Conference for young and emerging leaders, Wisconsin Trauma and Opioid Conference, and many others; partnered with the Madison School District to create a better process for special education children and shortened school days and seeks to inspire administrations to re-think their approach of classroom management to support traumatized children. Judge Mitchell often invites young men and women into the courtroom to learn more and gain a positive vision of courts, fairness and the hope of justice.
Over the 14 years that Judge Mitchell has been a member of the Dane County community, he has become dedicated advocate for justice for all, but especially for the underserved and disenfranchised. He has received numerous honors for his quiet and effective efforts toward improving relationships and communication between various diverse groups.
Judge Mitchell is married to the love of his life Dr. Mankah Zama Mitchell. They have two children: Sydney and Braylon Mitchell. Read Less ^
Being Fair and Just
Finding Hope in The Face of Change
The Importance of Education
Breaking Silence: Pastoral Approaches for Creating an Ethos of Peace
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