• Distinguished African American of the Month (June): Stacey Abrams


    Politician, lawyer, author and activist Stacey Abrams served in the Georgia House of Representatives from 2006-2017. She became the first woman to lead either party in the Georgia General Assembly in 2010, occupying the role for her last seven years in office. Following an unsuccessful run for Georgia governor in 2018, she founded Fair Fight, an organization that helped register at least 800,000 new voters in Georgia ahead of the 2020 general election. 


    Born in Madison, Wisconsin, Abrams is the second oldest of six children. Abrams graduated as the first Black valedictorian from Avondale High School in DeKalb County, Georgia, before earning a magna cum laude undergraduate degree in interdisciplinary studies (political science, economics and sociology) with a minor in theater from Atlanta’s historically Black women’s college, Spelman.


    At 17 years old, Abrams began her political career as a speechwriter when a congressional campaign committee became impressed with edits she made while typing for them. After Maynard Jackson — Atlanta's first Black mayor, with whom Abrams had challenged over issues relating to social justice during a televised 1992 town hall at Spelman — created an Office of Youth Services in 1993, he hired her as the only undergrad college student on staff.


    In 2006, Abrams was elected as a Georgia state representative, and within four years, she became the House Minority Leader. After ascending to the highest state legislative role in 2010, Abrams earned the distinction of becoming the first woman to lead either party in the Georgia General Assembly, as well the first African American to lead in the House of Representatives.


    After leaving her state representative position, Abrams launched a 2018 run for governor of Georgia, becoming the first Black woman to earn a major party’s gubernatorial nomination in the United States. Despite winning more votes than any Democratic candidate in the state’s history (including former President Barak Obama), she lost to Georgie Secretary of State Brian Kemp by fewer than two percentage points and just over 50,000 votes of the more than four million cast.


    Following her election loss, Abrams, in 2018, founded Fair Fight, a voter protection and education organization, which aims to "promote fair elections in Georgia and around the country, encourage voter participation in elections, and educate voters about elections and their voting rights.” Through her efforts, she helped register at least 800,000 new voters in Georgia ahead of the 2020 general election, per NPR, and as a result, Democrat Joe Biden won the state’s electoral votes for President in 2020. (Democrats Reverend Raphael Warnock and Jon Osoff also flipped Georgia’s two Republican-held Senate seats in a January 2021 special runoff race.)