Wednesday morning, Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams received an endorsement from Higher Heights for America. Higher Heights is the only political action committee exclusively dedicated to electing more progressive Black women at the federal and statewide levels.
Abrams hosted an intimate conversation over brunch at Nouveau, a Black-owned restaurant in Jonesboro, which focused on voting rights, health rights, reproductive care and the economy and how each issue is centered around Black women.
During an exclusive interview after the brunch, Abrams explained her position following the leak of United States Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s drafted opinion that signaled the striking down of Roe vs. Wade is imminent. Abrams said communities would only experience equitable healthcare based on their geography.
“What that means is that if you live in the state of Georgia, you have to travel at least 250 miles to access a medical service,” Abrams said. “But more than that, it is a commentary on your quality of life. Access to abortion, access to reproductive justice, is about our dignity, our welfare, our health, and our autonomy.
And so I am not only going to fight against this decision, I’m going to fight for the women of Georgia who deserve the right to make decisions about their bodies, decisions about their future. And we know especially for Black women, maternal mortality rates are already the highest in the nation. And this will do nothing to abate that, in fact, it will accelerate the challenges for Black women.”
The Abrams campaign recently announced they have raised $11.7 million in the three months ended April 30. Abrams, who is running unopposed in the Georgia Democratic gubernatorial primary, told the Associated Press she had more than $8 million in cash on hand.
After the leaked draft opinion by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Alito, Abrams paused fundraising and directed her donors to give to five organizations that advocate for the reaffirmation of Roe: The Feminist Women’s Health Center, SisterSong, ARC Southeast, Planned Parenthood Southeast and NARAL Pro-Choice Georgia.
President and CEO of Higher Heights for America, Glynda C. Carr, attended the round table. Carr, along with Kimberly Peeler-Allen, co-founded Higher Heights in 2011. Its objective was to address the systemic deficit of organizing resources for politically active Black women and the lack of support for those who were considering seeking elected office. Since then, the organization has developed several innovative programs and efforts that have quickly solidified its reputation as the political home and go-to resource for progressive Black women.
“We are looking to invest in leadership that looks like Stacey Abrams, we’ve never elected a Black woman governor in this country’s history,” Carr said. “Currently, there’s zero Black women serving in the US Senate; we’ve only elected two in our country’s history. Diverse decision making tables make better decisions, and we help more Black women lead by encouraging them to run for office and then supporting them as they govern.”
With hashtags such as #BlackWomenLead, Carr has fostered a powerful coalition that has inspired Black women to run for and win high offices. Moreover, the Higher Heights-powered #BlackWomenVote, a nonpartisan voter-activism campaign has helped eleven Black women to the U.S. Congress–including one to the Senate, according to their website.
Joining Abrams at the brunch discussion were State Senator Gail Davenport, Sukari Johnson – Founder and CEO Passport Moms LLC & Chair of Clayton Dems, Pharmacist and Doctor Courtney Jones, Juanita Marry – CEO of Accession and Distributing Training and an Army veteran, Janice Dixon, real estate agent Archie Emerson, and Clayton State University student, La Chantell Allen Shepard.
“We were with her in her first run for Governor,” Carr explained. “We organize our members and Black women to ensure that she continues to bring our voice to public policy. And so we look forward to the final drive to election day, primary and then straight to the general election to ensure that we are uplifting the voices of Black women voters in this election cycle.”