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2014 Forty Under 40: Tavonna Harris Askew

Lou Harry
February 1, 2014
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askew_tavonna_1col.jpg (IBJ Photo/Aaron P. Bernstein)

Declaration: Askew remembers being a determined child. “One day, I just announced that I was going to be a lawyer, wife and mother. I had no idea how hard that would be.”

Crime time: Fascinated by “LA Law,” she set out to be a criminal lawyer. After earning her law degree from Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law, she worked in the juvenile and domestic violence divisions of the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office and served as special assistant corporation counsel and public access counselor for Indianapolis. “I was all about being a criminal lawyer and wasn’t open to the other options. When I let myself be open, I realized there was a great big, wonderful world out there.” Working with municipal corporations led her to Health and Hospital. “Growing up, I actually went to Wishard so, for me, it’s coming full circle.”

AGE 37
Hometown: Indianapolis

Family: husband, Charles; daughters Kennedy, 5, and Chandler, 3; stepsons Deldric, 19, and Terrance, 16

Perspective: “My two little girls are still at that stage where, when you come home, whether it’s five hours or five days, they run to the door and they give you hugs and they give you kisses. A lot of times, I’m still reeling from what happened in the day, but they help me to erase it all. It’s been wonderful. My extended family has always been in my corner.”

Boards: While in law school, she became involved with Big Brothers/Big Sisters. She remains involved and is still close with her little sister even though she aged out of the program. She’s also on the board of Reach for Youth and is very involved with her sorority, Delta Sigma Theta. For 2014, she’s been selected for the Women’s Fund of Central Indiana board.

Kicking back: “Growing up, I thought cruises were for old and boring retirees. Now we love to cruise. To lay on the deck. To see the beautiful blue sky … ”

Favorite spot at H&H’s new Eskenazi Health campus: “It makes my husband a little nervous, but my favorite place is the maternity ward.”•
 

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  1. Those of you yelling to deport them all should at least understand that the law allows minors (if not from a bordering country) to argue for asylum. If you don't like the law, you can petition Congress to change it. But you can't blindly scream that they all need to be deported now, unless you want your government to just decide which laws to follow and which to ignore.

  2. 52,000 children in a country with a population of nearly 300 million is decimal dust or a nano-amount of people that can be easily absorbed. In addition, the flow of children from central American countries is decreasing. BL - the country can easily absorb these children while at the same time trying to discourage more children from coming. There is tension between economic concerns and the values of Judeo-Christian believers. But, I cannot see how the economic argument can stand up against the values of the believers, which most people in this country espouse (but perhaps don't practice). The Governor, who is an alleged religious man and a family man, seems to favor the economic argument; I do not see how his position is tenable under the circumstances. Yes, this is a complicated situation made worse by politics but....these are helpless children without parents and many want to simply "ship" them back to who knows where. Where are our Hoosier hearts? I thought the term Hoosier was synonymous with hospitable.

  3. Illegal aliens. Not undocumented workers (too young anyway). I note that this article never uses the word illegal and calls them immigrants. Being married to a naturalized citizen, these people are criminals and need to be deported as soon as humanly possible. The border needs to be closed NOW.

  4. Send them back NOW.

  5. deport now

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