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Stacey Abrams Joins Howard University

The Georgia politician will serve as Ronald W. Walters Endowed Chair for Race and Black Politics

Stacey Abrams headshot outdoors

Political leader Stacey Abrams, Esq. has been named as the inaugural Ronald W. Walters Endowed Chair for Race and Black Politics. The chair will be housed in the Ronald W. Walters Leadership and Public Policy Center at Howard University.

In this role, Abrams will foster interdisciplinary collaborations across the University on critical issues of race and Black politics, especially those issues that affect Americans of the African diaspora. The chair will inspire research and encourage broad discussions of scholarship for real-world solutions to complex, seemingly insoluble societal problems that adversely affect African diasporic communities and other vulnerable populations. Abrams will lead a vibrant Ronald W. Walters Speakers Series with invited guests on a range of topics representing diverse perspectives.

“We are at an inflection point for American and international democracy, and I look forward to engaging Howard University’s extraordinary students in a conversation about where they can influence, shape and direct the critical public policy decisions we face,” Abrams said.

Abrams began her political career in the Georgia General Assembly in 2007, serving as a state representative for over a decade until 2017. During that time, Abrams was the minority leader of the Georgia House of Representatives from 2011 to 2017 - the first woman to lead either party in the Georgia General Assembly, and the first African American to lead in the House of Representatives. In 2018, Abrams made history by becoming the first African American woman to win a major party nomination for governor in the United States as the Democratic nominee in Georgia.

Over the course of her career, she has launched multiple nonprofit organizations devoted to democracy protection, national and local voter engagement, tackling social issues, and building a more equitable future in the South.

In addition to her political, philanthropic, and business career, Abrams is the bestselling author of 15 books. She is a graduate of Spelman College and earned her master’s degree from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin and earned a J.D. from Yale University. After practicing tax law for a major firm, she was appointed the deputy city attorney for the city of Atlanta. In addition, she co-founded several businesses, including a financial services firm and an infrastructure consulting business.

Ronald W. Walters, PhD, was an internationally renowned scholar, activist, and expert on issues affecting the African diaspora until his death in 2010. The endowed chair was created in Walters’ namesake to continue his legacy of expanding the University’s capacity as a leader in emerging scholarship in Black politics. Howard University first announced the creation of the endowed chair position in 2020 when Patricia Turner Walters, Ronald Walter’s wife, gifted Howard University with the couple’s personal collection of African American art valued at more than $2.5 million. The Ronald W. and Patricia Turner Walters Collection is currently on display at the Howard University Gallery of Art.


This story appears in the Spring/ Summer 2023 issue.
Article ID: 1456

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