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Chief Judge Marbley inducted into Diversity and Inclusion Hall of Fame

Monday, May 13, 2024

While being inducted into The Ohio State University’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion Hall of Fame, U.S. District Chief Judge for the Southern District of Ohio Algenon L. Marbley was touted as being a fair judge with a record of protecting civil rights.

Chief Judge Marbley was welcomed into the Hall of Fame in April with three others: Historian Carol E. Anderson, the mother of multicultural literature Rudine Sim Bishop and Dr. J. Nwando Olayiwola. Each has had a lasting impact on The Ohio State University and society and has shown a lifelong commitment to justice, inclusion and diversity.

Becoming only the second Black judge in the district’s history when he was appointed to the bench in 1997, Chief Judge Marbley began serving as the first Black chief judge in district history in 2019.

During his speech at the ceremony, he thanked his family for helping him achieve his dream of becoming a federal judge and teaching him the right way to treat people.

“(They gave) me the value of compassion which is the cornerstone of justice. And it has become my guiding principle,” Chief Judge Marbley said.  

He said being inducted into the Diversity and Inclusion Hall of Fame was a surreal moment for him, especially considering what he had to face during his upbringing.

Chief Judge Marbley grew up in the segregated south and was oppressed. His family was only allowed to watch a movie from the balcony of a theater and could only use the rear entrances of restaurants to order take out.  

He said he knew the laws were wrong and becoming a lawyer was a way to ensure everyone is treated equally.

“My work has been in the Judiciary and I am honored to serve my community in that capacity,” Chief Judge Marbley said. “I’ve been fortunate enough to be in the position of a federal judge because in that position I can follow the prophet Micah’s edict: ‘do justice and love mercy.’”

He said during his induction that more work needs to be done to ensure progress and that everyone is treated fairly.

The Columbus Dispatch published an article in honor of Chief Judge Marbley being inducted into the Hall of Fame and his work as a federal judge. It can be read here: