Stacey Abrams: champion for change

Will Stacey Abrams become the first African-American woman governor in US history? Next week she could win the Georgia Democratic primary, and be on the ballot in November. In the meantime, our Fashion Editor Gail Day reviews Abram's most stylish looks.

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Stacey Abrams
Georgia State Representative Stacey Abrams, photo LBJ School (CC2.0)

In next week’s Georgia primary, Stacey Abrams could win the Democratic nomination for Governor. This would give her a real chance to make history. A victory in November (no easy task in a state as red as Georgia, but by no means impossible) would make her the first African-American woman governor in US History.

Abrams was originally born in Wisconsin, but her parents moved to Atlanta when she was a child to attend graduate school and become Methodist ministers. “I never saw them balance a checkbook, but they kept a roof over our heads and got all six of us into college,” she told Fortune in April. That college was Spellman, one of several historic, predominantly African-American colleges based in Atlanta. She later went on to study pubic policy at the University of Texas, and earned a law degree at Yale.

A successful tax attorney back in Atlanta, Abrams has pursued two other careers at the same time. Under the name Selena Montgomery, Abrams is the author of eight romantic suspense novels. For the last ten years she has also served in the Georgia House of Representatives, where she was elected minority leader in 2011.

Last year, Abrams told her mother about her plan to run for Governor. Her mother highlighted the obstacles Abrams would inevitably face – not only as a woman, but a black woman, no less. Her response: “Mama, somebody has to go first.”

But, like many Americans, Abrams is in debt – to the tune of $200, 000. “I am in debt, but I am not alone,” she said in her Fortune interview. “Debt is a millstone that weighs down more than three-quarters of Americans.”

Over the course of her 44 years, Abrams has accrued credit card as well as student loan debt in addition to supporting her parents financially as they both battled illnesses.

She refuses to let it deter her though. Debt can “determine whether we are able to run for office, to launch a business, to quit a job we hate. But it should not – and can not – be a disqualification for ambition.”

Informed by her own experiences, Abrams advocates for quality affordable education, skills training and the resulting economic mobility it offers. In addition, she regularly speaks out in favor of mental health awareness, affordable healthcare and LGBT rights among many others.

Come Tuesday we will find out if she will be on the November ballot. In the meantime, we celebrate Stacey Abrams’ elegant style choices on her journey through politics.

Feminine force


“Strike a woman, you strike a rock!” as the South African anti-Apartheid slogan goes. Abrams was a special guest speaker at the Power Rising summit in Atlanta, Georgia earlier this year and looking every bit the formidable femme fatale. Her outfit was made up of a slim-fitting navy blue shift dress paired with sleek black heels.

Fashioning the cause


It’s a proud day indeed when your gubernatorial campaign is endorsed by the foremost LGBT rights advocacy group in the state. Stacey Abrams received the official nod from Georgia Equality and to celebrate, posted this image of her waving the iconic rainbow flag proudly. Her choice of outfit was suitably bright and cheerful – a crisp three-quarter blouse in beautiful turquoise.

Grey matters


Recognizing the power of the youth, Abrams addressed a group of Georgia’s Young Democrats. The picture of professional poise, she was elegant and chic in a V-necked black dress underneath a bell-sleeved jacket in pale grey.

Stylish in support


Ady Barkan is the ALS patient and Democratic activist who famously challenged a Republican senator on an airplane last year over the controversial GOP tax bill. Once known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the bill would cut funding to essential health care which Barkan so desperately needs. He launched the Be a Hero campaign to shed light and encourage change in policy. Abrams showed her full support for the cause clad in an outfit of white and striking navy blue.

Stacey Abrams: high fiving hero


Cool and crisp in a shade of blue-green, Abrams met with voters in one of the small town of Sanderson, Georgia. Her Instagram caption reads: “Because if a little Black girl from the Deep South can grow up to become a Democratic Leader and run for governor, we should fight with all we’ve got so children like Raheem can pursue even bigger, bolder goals.” Well said!

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