Baker saw those different perspectives have shaped his daughter up close.
“She’s going to have a very good opinion on things based on facts and based on her heart and do things judiciously from that standpoint,” Baker said. “… Just trying to do things the right way and make sure things are done the right way even if the right way is different from how they’ve been done before. She’s strong enough to do that. And I’m very proud of that.”
Baker remembers seeing early signs of the kind of impact his daughter could have in high school — “The freshmen wanted to be like her,” he recalled — but Jade didn’t always want to be a lawyer.
She enrolled at the University of Virginia on a track and field scholarship — she still holds the school record for longest hammer throw at 63 meters, 61 centimeters — with the hopes of becoming a sports reporter. Because she was a track and field athlete, she was back at school early in August of 2017 and witnessed a dark moment for our nation up close.
Baker saw what transpired with the white supremacist “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, during which a man drove a car at a high speed into a group of counter-protestors, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring 19 others.
“That was the moment I decided I wanted to do something more and ultimately landed on law,” Baker said. “… Students of UVA met the moment. So as dark of an experience as it was, it also showed me a lot of light and the power of community and collective action.”
Baker said she feels like she’s taking over in a “perfect storm” at Georgetown. Earlier this month, a Georgetown Law School professor was fired after making racially insensitive comments; Baker noted the juxtaposition of that scandal with Kamala Harris becoming the nation’s first Black woman vice president Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff serves as a professor at Georgetown Law.
And Baker knows the kind of impact she can have as the first Black woman student body president at Georgetown Law, too.
“I just feel an immense responsibility and I’m happy that barrier is shattered so that the next person, it just seems like natural happenstance and nobody even thinks about their race or gender,” Baker said. “So I feel grateful for the opportunity.”
“… I wasn’t the person who wanted to go to law school since they were a kid, I wasn’t the person who had the best LSAT score or the best grades in the world. But I just was really passionate about something and put everything toward it and it worked out.”
Brian Baker heard from a number of friends, like Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren, former RNC chair Michael Steele and Washington Football Team general manager Martin Mayhew, among others, who were ecstatic to see Jade elected to her new position. And in the Baker family, there’s an immense amount of pride in Jade’s accomplishments — her grandmother “has been bragging to all her choir friends,” Brian said.
Jade is one of three Brian and Nevada Baker’s daughters — Nicole, the oldest, has a Master’s in public health; Jasmine, the youngest, is a student at the University of North Carolina.