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Written by on April 1, 2024

Media Package: KTSU2 Reporter Zoria Goodley

Written by: KTSU2 Reporter Erin Slaughter

She walked from one end of the Texas Southern University (TSU) campus to the other, a path she had taken countless times.

This time, the exhausting stroll offered her a moment for reflection. 

As she reflected on her journey, she recalled pivotal moments that shaped her path, from earning her Juris Doctorate at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law to returning to the School of Communications, where she received her undergraduate degree.

Upon reaching her destination, she stepped into the spotlight of the news studio.

Lights, camera, action. 

As She spoke about the studio’s progress, she mentioned the Texas Southern motto ‘excellence in achievement’ multiple times, embodying it herself. 

As she spoke; she ensured no red lipstick was on her teeth, and her black curls flowed as effortlessly as her words.

She wore a red and black dress; the intertwined colors complemented her coffee-colored skin, along with black accessories and short heels that were perfect for comfortable walking.

She stood tall in them, representing her brand.

Takasha Francis returned to campus as a Texas Southern alumna, judge-elect of the 152nd Civil District Court, former Miss TSU, and former debate team president.

She was showcased for Women’s History Month and reflected on her roots—where it all began—and how it has led her to run for the 152nd Civil District Court judge position.

“It’s very true what our alma mater says: “All roads lead to Texas Southern,” and TSU has fulfilled so many of the dreams that I had,” she said. 

Takasha Francis

“I’m sitting here as the judge-elect of the 152nd Civil District Court, the first Black person and Black woman to hold that seat in 40 years. That’s how old that court is,” she said, her intentions to make history clear.

The Texas primary elections that were held on March 5th, 2024 resulted in Francis winning over 84,000 votes compared to her opponent’s 67,000 votes.

When she announced her plans to run for civil district court judge, Francis said she did not realize she was not only running for the bench but also against an entire institution.

This extra mile requirement was illustrated by her opponent filing a lawsuit challenging her qualifications for the bench, demanding that she prove herself beyond what she had already exhausted.

Francis said that despite facing adversity, she did not back down.

“I can’t stand a bully, so the last thing you’re going to do is punk me. The idea of that lawsuit was to make me retreat, but all it did was make me fight because I was that much more determined. Even if I don’t beat you, you’re going to know I was here. And if you win, oh, you’re going to work for it this time,” she said.

Francis’s determination to overcome adversity was evident even in her silence. Her unwavering faith filled the air and remained even after she left, and she said maintaining that faith is how she remains focused on the task ahead.

“My faith in God was sustaining because I understood; he showed me, you got to go through this, but I got it (referring to God fighting her battles), and quite honestly that was the strength that I had the entire time,” she said. 

Francis said although her belief in God may be strong, it did not extend to the court system, which motivated her choice to run.

“Sometimes when we look at things that happen in life, the question becomes why things are like this, what can be different, and then you start saying, ‘well, people can do this, people can do that,’ then one day you wake up and say, ‘I’m people,’” she said. 

Francis acknowledged that effecting change requires a collective effort, and she said she plans to lead the initiative of ‘Bringing the community to the courtroom’ as a civil district court judge. 

“The part of being a part of the judiciary that I feel is being overlooked in the community is understanding what judges do, how important they are, and also understanding the judicial process,” she said. 

Takasha Francis

As she spoke about educating those who might not know the duties of a civil judge and the processes involved in civil court, she also discussed ways to help them access such services.

 “I also want to ensure the availability of programs such as low-cost legal services and pro bono services, similar to the partnerships I’ve worked with as the director of neighborhoods. I want to expand programs like that so people can have access to the legal system at the point that they need it, to find the justice they need,” she said.

With her vision for the judiciary outlined, Francis extended her wisdom to TSU students, urging them to set their paths intentionally. 

“You have to know early on that you are a brand and you have to treat yourself like a brand; it is the way you look, it is the way you speak, it is the way you carry yourself, and it is what people think about when they think of you,” she said.

As Francis continued to offer advice, she directed her guidance specifically to the young women at TSU. 

“Society is very intentional about trying to humble women, and you don’t have to be humble, you are supposed to show up in the greatness of you are because that is who God made you to be,” she said.

“No dumbing it down, no squashing the intelligence. Ask the questions, take the stand. Be the change and show up in the fullness of who you are. The right people will appreciate that,” she continued.

Takasha Francis

Francis returned to TSU, embodying the essence of the things she so passionately discussed. She exemplified faith, resilience, perseverance, and the refusal to be silenced in any arena, particularly those where she is skilled and capable.

 As she finished addressing the students, Francis left them with one last piece of advice.

“It does not matter if you are a Democratic or a Republican. Regardless of which side of the aisle you are on, you have the right to ensure that your vote is captured. Utilize that right because if you don’t, you are letting other people make decisions for you,” she said. 

With elections around the corner, Francis highlighted the importance of using our voices; emphasizing that every vote matters and that our votes can lead to the change we want to see.

She continues to pave the way for others to follow, leaving a legacy of courage and conviction for generations to come, making her a beacon of inspiration during Women’s History Month.