Justice Whitener is well recognized by the legal community for her commitment to justice and equity for all individuals
In February 2022, Justice Whitener received the ABA's Stonewall Award, which recognizes members of the judiciary and legal professionals who have effected real change to remove barriers on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and who have championed diversity for the LGBT community.
In 2020 and again in 2021, Justice Whitener received the International Association of LGBT (IALGBT) Judges President's Award.
Justice Whitener was named 2021 Public Official of the Year by The Evergreen State College's Master of Public Administration Program for her legal and judicial careers, which have centered "on a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion that is a model for other judges and public service professionals."
In January 2021, Justice Whitener received the Western Region of the National Black Law Students Association Judge of the Year Award.
The 400 Years of African American History Commission honored Justice Whitener, naming her a 2020 Distinguished 400 Awardee.
In 2020, Justice Whitener received the Washington Women Lawyers Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst Passing the Torch Award.
In 2019, Justice Whitener was awarded the Washington State Bar Association's Charles Z. Smith Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award, the King county Washington Women Lawyers President's Award, the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association Service to Diversity Award, and the Seattle University School of Law and Women's Law Caucus Woman of the Year Award.
In 2018, Justice Whitener received the Pierce County Washington Women Lawyers Woman of the Year Award.