Announcing The Abrams Sisters as Keynote Speakers at The American Association of Blacks in Higher Education (AABHE) 2022 Annual National Conference

Washington, D.C. – Tuesday, February 15, 2022 – The American Association of Blacks in Higher Education (AABHE) is pleased to announce The Abrams Sisters as this year’s keynote speakers at the AABHE 2022 Annual Conference on March 14-15, 2022, with the theme “Transformation, Timing, and Talents: Uncovering the Experiences of Blacks in Higher Education”.

The Abram Sisters, namely:

Stacey Abrams, J.D. is the four-time New York Times bestselling author of Stacey’s Extraordinary Words, While Justice Sleeps, Our Time is Now, and Lead from the Outside, an entrepreneur; and a political leader. A tax attorney by training, she served eleven years in the Georgia House of Representatives, seven as Minority Leader, and became the 2018 Democratic nominee for governor of Georgia, where she won, at the time, more votes than any other Democrat in the state’s history. She has launched multiple organizations devoted to voting rights, training and hiring young people of color, and tackling social issues at the state, national, and international levels. She is the founder of Fair Fight, Fair Count, and the Southern Economic Advancement Project. A small business owner, she co-founded the financial services firm NOW Corp., and the kid-focused tech company, The Family Room, Inc.; and she launched the media company, Sage Works Productions, Inc., in 2020. Abrams sits on both nonprofit and corporate boards, and she is a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She has received degrees from Spelman College, the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, and Yale Law School.

Dr. Jeanine Abrams McLean is an evolutionary biologist, community organizer, and President at Fair Count. The goal of Fair Count (a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization founded by Stacey Abrams) is to build long-term power in communities that have been historically undercounted in the decennial census, underrepresented at the polls, and whose communities are often torn apart in redistricting. She is a highly skilled researcher with over 20 years of experience designing, managing, and implementing population-based studies and projects, and she has authored 25 peer-reviewed publications.

Leslie Abram Gardner, J.D. is a United States District Court Judge for the Middle District of Georgia.  On March 11, 2014, President Obama nominated her to the bench; and, on November 18, 2014, the Senate confirmed her by a vote of 100-0.  On November 21, 2014, Judge Gardner took the oath of office and became the first female federal judge in the Middle District of Georgia and the first African American woman to become an Article III judge in the State of Georgia.

Dr. Andrea Abrams is the Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Centre College in Kentucky. She is also an associate professor of anthropology, gender studies, African American studies, and social justice studies. She has served as the President of the Anthropologists and Sociologists of Kentucky and the President of the National Association of Black Anthropologists. Andrea’s research focuses on racial and gender identities in the south and her ethnography, God and Blackness: Race, Gender and Identity in a Middle-Class Afrocentric Church, explores how African American religious institutions build community and create a shared understanding of blackness. In her spare time, Abrams is currently working on a novel that interweaves anthropology, mystery, hoodoo, and the history of Black towns.  She earned a graduate certificate in women’s studies and a Ph.D. in anthropology from Emory University.


The Abram Sisters will also receive AABHE’s Pacesetters Award for their unique and cutting-edge accomplishments that seek to enhance the Black educational experience, to be moderated by Dr. Shewanee Howard-Baptiste, the Vice Provost for Academic Outreach and Professor at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

“AABHE is honored to be joined at our Annual Conference by four siblings of the amazingly talented Abrams family. Four sisters will join us for a riveting conversation at our closing plenary session. These women include a college professor and author, Dr. Andrea Abrams; a CDC evolutionary biologist, Dr. Jeanine Abrams McLean; a federal judge who is being considered for the US Supreme Court, the Honorable Leslie Abrams Gardner; and a highly influential Georgia gubernatorial candidate, Ms. Stacey Abrams. This promises to be an engaging part of a very engaging conference,” said Dereck J. Rovaris, Sr., Ph.D., AABHE President.

AABHE is a nonprofit, individual, and institutional member-based organization with sponsorships from colleges, corporations, foundations, and universities. They are the leading provider of training, academic research support, mentoring, and early career development for Blacks in higher education.

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