Senator Arthenia Joyner - The Honorable Senator Arthenia Joyner has been a trailblazer in breaking racial and gender barriers throughout her distinguished career in law and politics. After she received her B. S. and J.D. degrees from Florida A & M University, no law firm would hire her; she took out a $1,000 bank loan and opened her solo practice of law. She became the first black woman to practice law in Hillsborough County and the first black to practice law in Polk County. She remains the longest practicing black woman lawyer in the history of Florida and is currently of Counsel at Vanguard Attorneys in Tampa.
Senator Joyner is a strong civil rights supporter who has held leadership positions at all levels including governmental appointments and has held public office. She served as a member of both the Florida Senate and the Florida House of Representatives. Over her legislative career, Senator Joyner has held many significant posts, including being elected the first black woman Senate Minority Leader. She has always demonstrated a deep commitment to her foundational values of service, equality, and civil rights, and an unwavering dedication to her constituents in Tampa, and the people of Florida. Senator Joyner was named a Woman of Distinction in 1995 and is the seventh woman to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.