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A Conversation with Stacey Abrams

Stacey Abrams

Please join us on February 19th at noon EST for a conversation with Stacey Abrams, moderated by Benjamin Todd Jealous and with remarks from President Amy Gutmann.

The event is sponsored by the Annenberg School for Communication, the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Paideia Program, and the Penn Provost’s Office.


If you would like to ask Stacey Abrams a question at the event, please submit it in advance using this link. We will pose as many questions during the event as time allows.


Stacey Abrams is an author, serial entrepreneur, nonprofit CEO and political leader. After serving for eleven years in the Georgia House of Representatives, seven as Minority Leader, in 2018, Abrams became the Democratic nominee for Governor of Georgia. Abrams was the first black woman to become the gubernatorial nominee for a major party in the United States.

After witnessing the gross mismanagement of the 2018 election by the Secretary of State’s office, Abrams launched Fair Fight to ensure every Georgian has a voice in our election system. The impact of Fair Fight led to Abrams being named to the Forbes list of World’s Most Powerful Women In 2020. 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. She is a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the 2012 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’ New York Times bestselling book Lead from the Outside: How to Build Your Future and Make Real Change, is a personal and empowering blueprint for outsiders who seek to become the ones in charge. From her experiences launching a company, to starting a day care center for homeless teen moms, to running a successful political campaign, Abrams illuminates that finding what you want to fight for is as critical as knowing how to turn thought into action. Her newly released book Our Time is Now is a blueprint to end voter suppression and chronicles a chilling account of how the right to vote and the principles of democracy have been and continue to be under attack.

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

About Ben Jealous

Ben Jealous is a visiting scholar at the Annenberg School for Communication and the President of the People for the American Way. He has spent his professional life at the nexus of social change, media, and emerging technologies. He is former National President & CEO of the NAACP, former Executive Director of the National Newspaper Publisher’s Association (NNPA), and for more than half a decade has been investing in social impact startups.

While at the NAACP, Jealous led a series of wholesale changes in how the organization used social media and related technologies to enhance its organizing. His efforts started with proving the efficacy of online viral voter registration drives in the 2008 Presidential Election. The NAACP’s numbers of online activists really took off when Jealous began using their platforms to organize support for individuals fighting injustices in the criminal justice system. The last such campaign he led for the NAACP signed up more than 600,000 new activists on email and approximately 400,000 via text in less than two weeks. These efforts have also been credited by a major polling firm with shifting public opinion and paving the way for landmark civil rights state legislative victories.

A former Rhodes Scholar, Jealous is a graduate of Columbia University and Oxford University. He is a former Visiting Professor at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School where he taught social entrepreneurship. He is currently co-teaching social innovation at Penn’s School of Social Policy and Social Practice. He is co-editor of the national-bestseller Reach: 40 Black Men Speak of Living, Leading and Succeeding.

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