Published: Jan. 27, 2021 By

The University of Colorado Law School is pleased to announce that voting rights activist and bestselling author Stacey Abrams will be the speaker for the Colorado Law Class of 2021 commencement recognition ceremony, which will be held virtually.

The ceremony will take place on May 8. The exact time will be announced shortly.

"At a time of great uncertainty and unrest, Ms. Abrams' work with Fair Fight to combat voter suppression has provided Americans with hope, and has helped to ensure that our democracy will endure. We are humbled and honored to welcome Ms. Abrams as the 2021 Colorado Law commencement speaker," said Dean S. James Anaya.

Abrams served for 11 years in the Georgia House of Representatives, seven as Democratic leader. In 2018, Abrams became the Democratic nominee for governor of Georgia, winning at the time more votes than any other Democrat in the state’s history. Abrams was the first Black woman to become the gubernatorial nominee for a major party in the United States, and she was the first Black woman and first Georgian to deliver a response to the State of the Union address.

Abrams launched the nonprofit Fair Fight in 2018 to ensure every American has a voice in our election system through programs such as Fair Fight 2020, an initiative to fund and train voter protection teams in 20 battleground states. Over the course of her career, Abrams has founded multiple organizations devoted to voting rights, training and hiring young people of color, and tackling social issues at both the state and national levels. In 2019, she launched Fair Count to ensure accuracy in the 2020 Census and greater participation in civic engagement, and the Southern Economic Advancement Project, a public policy initiative to broaden economic power and build equity in the South.

Abrams is a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations, where she serves on the Subcommittee on Diversity. As a Next Generation Fellow of the American Assembly on U.S. Global Policy and the Future of International Institutions, she also served as a discussion leader, editor, and essay contributor. She was also selected as a Salzburg Seminar Fellow on East Asian Studies, an American Marshall Memorial Fellow, an American Council of Young Political Leaders Fellow, a Council on Italy Fellow, a British-American Project Fellow, and a U.S.-Russia Young Leaders Fellow. As the top-ranking Democrat in Georgia, she traveled to and met with leaders in South Korea, Israel, and Taiwan, and she worked closely with several members of the consular corps.

She is a recipient of the John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award and a current member of the Board of Directors for the Center for American Progress. Abrams has also written eight romantic suspense novels under the pen name Selena Montgomery, in addition to the New York Times best-selling Lead from the Outside and Our Time is Now.

Abrams received degrees from Spelman College, the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, and Yale Law School. Born in Madison, Wisconsin, she and her five siblings grew up in Gulfport, Mississippi, and were raised in Georgia.