Howard University Announces New Faculty Addition, Stacey Abrams, As The Inaugural Ronald W. Walters Endowed Chair For Race And Black Politics

By Brianna Theophile, @itsbriannat

It’s just been announced that Stacey Abrams will be joining Howard University’s faculty after being appointed as the inaugural Ronald W. Walters Endowed Chair for Race and Black Politics, which will be housed in the Ronald W. Walters Leadership and Public Policy Center. 

In this role, she will be leading – with the help of other faculty – research on political issues impacting Black Americans, as well as lead the Ronald W. Walters Speakers Series in which guests from all different perspectives are invited to speak on and converse about a range of different topics and issues.

As stated by Howard, she will lecture and hold symposiums while working across multiple academic departments as well, but won’t be working as a traditional full-time faculty member, and will reside in Georgia.

Ronald Walters, who passed in 2010, was a professor at Howard for 25 years as well as a leader and activist on issues regarding politics and race. The endowed chair was first announced a decade after his death in 2020 following a donation made by his wife, Patricia Turner Walters, of their personal collection of African American art equating to $2.5 million, and was created to carry on his legacy in Black politics. 

“We are at an inflection point for American and international democracy, and I look forward to engaging Howard University’s extraordinary students in a conversation about where they can influence, shape and direct the critical public policy decisions we face.” says Abrams on her appointment. “Through this post, I hope to emulate Dr. Walter’s diasporic lens on our world and be a part of how Howard University continues to contribute to the broader political discourse.”

This serves as the next step for her after an extensive political career so far; in 2018, Abrams made history as the first African American woman to win a major party nomination for governor in the U.S. as the Democratic nominee in Georgia. She ran a second time later on in 2022, despite losing to Republican Brian Kemp. 

“She continues to be an influential figure in the Democratic Party and a role model for young women and people of color who aspire to enter the policy arena.” said Howard University Provost and Chief Academic Officer Anthony K. Wutoh, PhD. “We are incredibly grateful to Ms. Abrams for her commitment to investing in the future of Howard students as the Ronald W. Walters Endowed Chair and we are pleased to welcome her to Howard University.”

Abrams will begin her multi-year appointment starting in the fall, in September.