Stacey Abrams appointed as Howard University’s first chair for race and Black politics

Stacey Abrams is making history at Howard University in D.C. as the institution’s first chair for race and Black politics.

Abrams is a former Georgia state representative, Georgia House of Representatives minority leader and first African American woman to win a major party nomination for governor as the Democratic nominee in Georgia.

The Ronald W. Walters Endowed Chair for Race and Black Politics will be housed in the Ronald W. Walters Leadership and Public Policy Center at Howard University.

“I am honored to serve as the inaugural Ronald W. Walters Endowed Chair for Race and Black Politics, having had the privilege of knowing and learning from Dr. Walters,” Abrams said in a news release. “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.

In her new role, she will foster collaborations on discussions of race and Black politics and come up with solutions to societal issues that adversely affect African American communities.

“Stacey Abrams has proven herself an essential voice and eager participant in protecting American democracy — not just for certain populations, but for everyone with the fundamental right to make their voices heard,” said Howard University President Wayne A. I. Frederick.

She will also help to lead the Ronald W. Walters Speakers Series featuring diverse voices on current issues.

Abrams graduated magna cum laude from Spelman College and was named a Harry S. Truman Scholar in 1994. She has a 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.

Throughout her career, she has started several nonprofit organizations aimed at voter rights and engagement.

“From my alma mater, Spelman College, I have carved out a career that allows me to weave together policy analysis, political leadership, social justice, business, environmental, entertainment and more. Through this post, I hope to emulate Dr. Walter’s diasporic lens on our world and be a part of how Howard University continues to contribute to the broader political discourse,” Abrams said.

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Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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