Political leader and voting rights activist Stacey Abrams has been added to the faculty list at Howard University as its inaugural Ronald W. Walters Endowed Chair for Race and Black Politics.
According to The Washington Post, the university announced Abram’s new role on Wednesday. She will foster interdisciplinary collaboration and inspire research on complex societal problems that affect African diasporic communities.
“We are entering an inflection point in American politics where the conversation of race and Black politics will be a central facet,” Abrams, 49, said, “and having the chance to help guide part of the conversation for young people who are studying at Howard University is an exceptional opportunity.”
Howard President Wayne A.I. Frederick said the appointment reflects Walters’ legacy as a professor at the university for 25 years, where he focused on topics of Black politics and the role politics plays in African American life.
“Stacey Abrams epitomizes that in our contemporary experience, in our society,” Frederick said. “The work she has been doing on voter registration and voting irregularities, especially in Georgia but across the country, speaks to a lot of what Ronald Walters embodied. This appointment is extremely important for our students.”
Walters, who died in 2010, organized one of the country’s first lunch-counter sit-ins in Kansas in 1958. His advisement to Jesse Jackson’s presidential campaigns was significant to his role as a leading scholar of politics. “His focus on African American leadership has shaped so much of how we have seen leaders engage over the last 30 years,” Abrams said.
Abrams’ experience as an adjunct professor at her Atlanta alma mater, Spelman College, and her public affairs and law studies have prepared her for the new role with Howard.
Fulfilling her new position at the university doesn’t mean she has given up on possibly running for office again. The activist stated in January that she would likely run again, and according to The Post, she clarified this week that she hasn’t ruled out the option.