Hon. Dotie Joseph
Dotie Joseph serves as State Representative for Florida’s 108 House District, and is currently the Leader Pro Tempore of the Florida House Democratic Caucus–the first Haitian American to hold the position in the entire U.S. at any level.
Representative Joseph was born in Haiti and raised in Miami, where she attended public schools, studied hard, and went on to graduate from Yale University. Ms. Joseph specializes in investigating violations of state and federal employment law.
At Yale, the young community activist co-founded Yale’s Haitian Student Alliance, and served as the Political Action Chairperson of the Yale N.A.A.C.P. Drawn to public service, she served as the Legislative Correspondent for U.S. Representative Peter Deutsch in Washington, D.C., as Acting Youth Director for Eglise Beraca in Miami, and interned with President Carter at the Carter Center in Atlanta, GA.
Passionate about civil rights, Ms. Joseph sought to hone her advocacy by earning a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center. During law school, her commitment to combating discrimination led Ms. Joseph to intern with the national Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law, extern with the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, and serve as the 2003 Frankel Fellow for Human Rights First.
Driven by Martin Luther King, Jr.’s quote, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” Ms. Joseph also worked on human rights issues across the globe—from interning with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Egypt to interning with the Refugee Law Project in Uganda. Ms. Joseph also interned for the National Coalition for Haitian Rights, and dedicated her time at the Carter Center focusing on Latin America, the Caribbean, and West Africa.
After graduating from Georgetown, she served as the Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable Judge Eugene Hamilton, a Civil Rights Litigation Consultant, an employment discrimination litigator, Interim City Attorney for the City of North Miami Beach, and as an attorney with several firms focusing on labor and employment or government matters.
Committed to serving her community, Attorney Joseph has served as a Past President of the Haitian Lawyers Association, First Vice-Chair of the Miami-Dade Democratic Party, a Member of the Miami-Dade Black Affairs Advisory Board, a Member of the North Miami Board of Adjustment, a volunteer attorney with the Miami-Dade Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored Peoples (NAACP), and as a Volunteer Election Protection Attorney for both of President Barack Obama’s campaigns.
Representative Joseph has received a “Woman on the Rise” award from the Dade County Bar Association, a “40 Under 40″ award from Legacy Magazine as well as the Haitian-American Chamber of Commerce, the “Woman of Substance” by the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners, the KY the Legislative Champion award by the Florida Education Association and the United Teachers of Dade, and the statewide “Legislative Advocacy Award” by the Democratic Women’s Caucus of Florida.
During her time in the Legislature, Representative Joseph has championed equitable access to resources for all communities, preserving state funds for affordable housing, expanding access to healthcare, common sense gun safety laws, women’s rights, and climate action. Despite being in the minority, Leader Joseph has gotten meaningful legislation passed to address health care disparities, as well as support justice for victims of police brutality, elder abuse, human trafficking, and domestic violence.
While Representative Joseph has a background specializing in civil rights litigation, trial and appellate litigation, as well as mediation and conflict resolution, her current legal practice focuses on government law, labor and employment, human resources consulting, employer sponsored trainings, and helping businesses and individuals navigate various governmental entities.