Stacey Abrams made headlines for her activism in the 2020 Presidential Election, and now she has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. According to Reuters, Abrams’ efforts to increase voter turnout is comparable to the work Martin Luther King Jr. has done to achieve equality. Despite the controversy around mail-in ballots, Abrams led statewide get-out-the-vote campaigns in Georgia to encourage Democrats to register to vote and have their voice heard. According to CNBC, Abrams is nominated for promoting “nonviolent change via the ballot box,” which is similar to King’s nomination for a “nonviolent campaign against racism.”
Her activism surrounding voter rights actually began back in 2014 when she co-founded the non-partisan New Georgia Project, an organization that aims to get young people of color to the polls. Since the program began, it has gotten over 500,000 Georgia residents to register to vote, according to Reuters. Four years later, Abrams also co-founded an anti-voter suppression group called Fair Fight, which recognized the need to connect to Black voters who have the power to change the outcome of any election.
Before campaigning for the Democratic Party in last year’s election, Abrams began her political career in 2007 when she became a Georgia Representative, and in 2011, she became the House Minority Leader. In 2018, she ran for governor of Georgia and became the first African-American woman to be a gubernatorial nominee. Despite her loss, Abrams’ voting rights activism continued with her efforts throughout the state, leading up to the 2020 election. Without her, Georgia most likely would not have turned blue.
Abrams also acts as a role model for young Black women who are struggling to find the confidence it takes to be successful in a society riddled with oppression. In 2019, she told NBC News that despite losing the gubernatorial election in 2018, she is still proud of her accomplishments in politics. In an interview with Mika Brzezinski, Abrams said she and many women, especially minority women, often “disqualify” themselves before anyone else has the chance to.
“My belief is I know who I am,” Abrams told Brzezinski. “I know what I’m capable of. I know I can always get better, but I’m never going to allow my exterior, my phenotype, to determine my capacity. And I think that’s one place where women can know their value.”
Abrams’ confidence is an example for how young women, especially women of color who feel like they are on the outside, should feel about themselves. She is unapologetic and isn’t afraid to say that she knows she’s smart and ambitious. She also believes that mistakes and failures are all part of life, and young women should “embrace the fail” and continue to strive for more.
In 2017, Cosmopolitan reported that Abrams is open to running for president sometime in the future, preferably 2028. She also said she isn’t afraid to be candid about how her gender or race may affect her success in the political world.
“My being a black woman is not a deficit,” Abrams told Cosmopolitan. “It is a strength. Because I could not be where I am had I not overcome so many other barriers. Which means you know I’m relentless, you know I’m persistent, and you know I’m smart.”
If there’s one thing to learn about Stacey Abrams, it is that you should know your worth because you’re definitely more intelligent than you give yourself credit for.
Abrams has also written a number of books, including Minority Leader: How to Lead from the Outside and Make Real Change (2018) and Our Time Is Now: Power, Purpose, and the Fight for a Fair America (2020). To learn more about Abrams’ career in politics and activism, check out our article “The Power of One Woman.”