Tag: Condoleezza Rice

Meet 18 Candidates Leading the Historic Rise of Black Women Running for Office in Alabama

by Jamia Wilson (with reporting by Samantha Leach) via glamour.com

Before Black Panther celebrated the all-­female freedom fighters of Wakanda, real-life black women formed their own type of special-forces unit in Alabama. When a whopping 98 percent of African American women voters united behind Doug Jones, they were able to elect him as the first Democrat to represent Alabama in the U.S. Senate in more than 20 years. They didn’t just defeat Roy Moore; they rocked the political status quo.

They have no intention of stopping there.

An unprecedented groundswell of at least 70 black women have launched electoral campaigns across Alabama for local, state, and national offices in 2018, according to the nonprofit Emerge America, which trains women to run for office. While this echoes a national trend (the Black Women in Politics database lists 590 black female candidates across the country, 97 of them for federal seats), experts say the numbers in Alabama are particularly striking. From first-time hopefuls to seasoned veterans, twenty-somethings to sixty-somethings, women are lining up to disrupt the mostly white, mostly Republican old boys’ club in the state. (Only two black women are running as Republicans in Alabama this year, both for local seats, according to the state’s GOP office.) “African Americans are a quarter of the population here, yet they aren’t seeing their issues front and center,” says Rhonda Briggins, a co-founder of VoteRunLead and an Alabama native, “so they’ve decided to run themselves.”

Representative Terri Sewell, 53, who’s up for re-election this year, was the first black woman to represent Alabama in Congress when she was elected in 2011. “As a congressional intern during the late eighties, I remember walking the halls of the Capitol and not seeing many black women in any role, let alone as elected officials,” she says. “When I was first elected, making my voice heard as a black woman surrounded by older white men was a challenge. This year we’re proving the strength of our voice at the ballot box.”

Ironically, it was the election of a white guy—thanks to the record-breaking mobilization of black women—that motivated many of these candidates to jump into the race. “After so many black women carried Doug Jones over the threshold, I think more women across the state began to see our political power,” says Ashley Smith, 34, a Montgomery native running for district judge in Lowndes County.

Wendy Smooth, Ph.D., a political scientist at Ohio State University, agrees the high voter turnout in last December’s special election inspired black women candidates to tap into the political momentum. “There was this robust energy, and once energy like that has been released, it doesn’t go away,” she says. “And once women learn [how to] get a candidate elected into office, a lightbulb comes on and they say, ‘This isn’t that hard after all. I too can do this.’ ” But, she’s quick to point out, the uptick of black candidates in Alabama and beyond is not just reactionary. These candidates are building on a tradition of activism among black women that’s resulted in major social progress. They’ve done the work, using their coalition-based organizing methods, to fight voter suppression, help Barack Obama win the presidency, and change the game in the special elections. Running for political office is a key part of their strategy.

Briggins emphasizes that these women are making deliberate next steps in a larger blueprint for change, in both their communities and the country, noting how past seeds laid the groundwork for growth. “Women are primarily the workers behind the Alabama New South Coalition and Alabama Democratic Conference, organizations that, since the civil rights movement, have become the foundation of black political power in Alabama,” she says. Continue reading “Meet 18 Candidates Leading the Historic Rise of Black Women Running for Office in Alabama”

Condoleezza Rice Performs “Amazing Grace” to Benefit the Troops (VIDEO)

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice  (Photo: Curtis Compton) ccompton@ajc.com
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (Photo: Curtis Compton)

Condoleezza Rice is a woman of many talents, but among the most impressive is her piano playing. The former Secretary of State, who is a classically-trained musician, put her skills on the ivories to use for a good cause recently, collaborating with violinist Jenny Oates Baker for a rendition of “Amazing Grace” that is sure to cause the shedding of a few tears.

The duo recorded their version of the 236-year-old Christian hymn to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project, and the single was released on iTunes. “Amazing Grace has always held a special place in my heart,” Rice wrote on her Facebook page. “It seemed only appropriate to release the video in conjunction with the 4th of July weekend as we recognize the blessings we have in this country and the sacrifices of our servicemen and women for our freedom.”

Rice’s single comes on the heels of President Barack Obama performing the timeless hymn at the funeral of Reverend Clementa Pinckney, who was one of the victims of the Charleston Massacre.

As it has for more than two centuries, “Amazing Grace” continues to offer comfort in times of need.

Watch the beautiful rendition in the video below:

article by Evelyn Diaz via bet.com

Gallup Poll Reveals President Obama, Hillary Clinton Are Most Admired Americans

POTUS and Hillary Clinton
President Barack Obama and then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the White House September 12, 2012 in Washington, D.C.

President Barack Obama is the man Americans say they admire most, while Hillary Clinton is the woman living anywhere in the world whom they admire most, according to Gallup poll results released Monday.

Obama, who recently completed two years into his second-term in office, has been the most admired man for each of the last seven years, beginning in 2008, the year he was first elected president. The renewed vote of confidence couldn’t come at a better time. The president has suffered a number of political setbacks this year, including stunning midterm election losses by Democrats across the country. The second most admired man is Pope FrancisBill Clinton is third; the Rev. Billy Graham is fourth; and George W. Bush is fifth.

Hillary Clinton, who is believed to be gearing up to run again for president, has held the top women’s spot in each of the last 13 years and 17 of the last 18, with that streak interrupted only by first lady Laura Bush in 2001 after the 9/11 terror attacks, the report says. Clinton is in good company. Oprah Winfrey is ranked second; Malala Yousafzai, the activist for women’s education in Pakistan and the youngest- ever Nobel Prize laureate is third; Condoleezza Rice is fourth and first lady Michelle Obama is fifth.

The Gallup poll results are based on telephone interviews conducted Dec. 8-11, 2014, with a random sample of 805 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, the report says. For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level, according to the report.

article via theurbandaily.com

Condoleezza Rice Appointed to 2014 College Football Playoff Committee

Former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is one of the nine people expected to be part of the selection committee for the College Football Playoff that begins in 2014, a person familiar with the decision told USA TODAY Sports.

The person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the committee has not been announced, also confirmed the following members: football Hall of Famer Archie Manning, Wisconsin athletics director Barry Alvarez, USC athletics director Pat Haden, Arkansas athletics director Jeff Long, West Virginia athletics director Oliver Luck and Clemson athletics director Dan Radakovich in addition to Rice, former Ole Miss and NFL quarterback Manning, former NCAA Executive Vice President Tom Jernstedt and former Big East Commissioner Mike Tranghese as at-large selections.

The person said there will only be one sitting athletics director from each of the five power conferences, so those places are set.  “It’s an all-star cast,” the person said.  A second person familiar with the makeup of the committee who spoke on the condition of anonymity because it has not been announced said the committee also will include Lt. Col. Michael Gould, former Superintendent of the Air Force Academy and a former player for the school.

The first person said Rice’s diverse background made her appealing.  A native of Birmingham, Ala., Rice holds degrees from the University of Denver and Notre Dame, and is a professor of political science at Stanford. She served as National Security Advisor from 2001-05 and Secretary of State from 2005-09. She also was Stanford’s Provost from 1993-99. She has been on faculty at Stanford since 1981.

GOOD FIT: Rice more than qualified for committee

Continue reading “Condoleezza Rice Appointed to 2014 College Football Playoff Committee”