Updated February 1, 2022 – Abrams did not end up winning, but it is still a great honor to be nominated!
The announcement for Stacy Abrams’s nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize came on the first of February, on the first day of Black History Month. The honor stems from her work in helping voters get registered, and her success during both the presidential and Senate races in Georgia.
Abrams was born on December 9th, 1973. While she grew up in Mississippi, her family eventually moved to Atlanta so that her parents could pursue degrees at Emory University. She graduated from Avondale High School as the school’s Valedictorian.
At the early age of 17, she became a typist for a congressional campaign. She would go on to earn a Bachelor’s degree from Spelman College before receiving a Juris Doctor from Yale Law School in 1999.
Abrams showed an early interest in the fight for civil rights, burning a Georgia flag while in college. The Georgia flag contains a confederate flag within it. This design was created in opposition to the Civil Rights Movement.
Moving Into Politics
Abrams eventually became the CEO of Sage Works. Sage Works is a legal consulting firm that has clients such as the American Dream Foundation. In 2002, at the age of 29, she was appointed as the deputy city attorney for the city of Atlanta. She ran under the promise to not run again. In 2006, she kept that promise by winning her campaign to join the Georgia House of Representatives.
While in the Georgia House of Representatives, she was appointed as the minority leader in 2010. As the minority leader, she co-sponsored the reform of the HOPE scholarship program. This decreased the amount of scholarship paid by Georgia students and funded a one percent interest program for students.
Turning a Loss into a Movement
Abrams ran for governor of Georgia in 2018. After receiving an endorsement from Bernie Sanders, she became the first black woman to hold a major party’s endorsement in a government election.
Abrams ultimately lost the election. The standing governor of Georgia is Brian Kemp. Kemp was involved in canceling voter registrations of Georgia citizens. His office canceled 1.7 million voter registrations, and 700,000 of those registrations were from 2017 alone. Abrams has stated that the election was conducted unfairly, but has made no move to officially challenge the results. Instead, she moved her fight to help citizens register to vote.
Nobel Peace Prize Nomination
Abrams held support in her home state of Georgia after her loss in the run for governor. She declined running for Senate in 2020 despite this support. Abrams joined as chair to Fair Fight Action, helping voters register in 20 states. The Washington Post credited over 80,000 votes to Abrams’ fight in the 2020 Georgia runoffs.
Both the presidential election and the Senate races saw Georgia turn from red to blue due to Abrams’s work in helping black voters register in the state. Lars Haltebrekken, a politician in Norway’s Parliament, compared Abrams’ fight for equality and civil rights to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s. Dr. King won the award in 1964, and Abrams’ work might lead to her following in his footsteps. The results of the nomination will arrive in October of 2021.
Read more from other GirlSpring contributors about the ground-breaking women of today:
- Jordyn Hudson, high school senior and CEO of Shape the Culture
- Janet Yellen, the first female U.S. Secretary of the Treasury
- Amanda Gorman, the first National Youth Poet Laureate