Member Spotlight – Shamieka Rhinehart

The Junior League of Durham and Orange Counties is proud to include the Honorable Shamieka Rhinehart among its members. A member since 2011, Shamieka has served on Extra Hands, Kids in the Kitchen, on the Board as Community Council Vice President, and now is on the Nominating Committee.

Judge Rhinehart is passionate about service to her community. The JLDOC has helped her build close relationships with organizations such as SEEDS, Museum of Life and Science, Kramden Institute, and Families Moving ForwardTM.

These relationships were also important in shaping her career as an Assistant District Attorney. Shamieka says, “Volunteering with [these] organizations has given me more exposure to the issues that people bring with them to the judicial system such as poverty, homelessness, domestic violence, and mental illness. Working on these issues prior to the people appearing in the court system gives me an opportunity to find solutions to complex issues that many face.”

Judge Rhinehart was sworn into her position on January 2, 2017, and she now brings these experiences into the Durham County courts. She remains committed to continuing to improve the court system for those who experience mental illness. The mental health system is in crisis, and those who present to the courts with mental illness have special needs. She says, “When I began running for office, I wanted a mental health court to divert those who had committed non-violent crime from the jail into a court to get treatment, life skills training and housing. Well, we are getting a mental health court in Durham.” Now, Judge Rhinehart will continue to work on improving our court system for the mentally ill.

Shamieka has paved new paths within the JLDOC and now is doing the same within the Durham County courts. She encourages her fellow League members to do the same: “Never be scared to fail. Oftentimes, as women we are scared to test our talents and abilities in new areas that are unknown to us. I say be bold and brave. As my father used to say, ‘Nothing beats a failure but a try.’ Some of our best talents are birthed on untraveled roads.”

Here are a few things you may not know about Shamieka:

  • Favorite restaurant in Durham or Orange County: Nana’s Restaurant
  • Best book you’ve read recently: Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight
  • Best movie you’ve seen recently: Hidden Figures
  • Favorite sports team(s): UNC Tarheels
  • What do you like to do in your free time: “I love to dance and laugh, but most of all I like to binge watch television shows.”

Thank you, Shamieka, for sharing your passion with the JLDOC!