Things That Matter

Stacey Abrams Was Just Nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize and People Are Excited

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Add “Nobel Prize nominee” to the list of Stacey Abrams’ accomplishments, right behind “voting rights activist” and “icon”. Today, Reuters reported that a Norwegian politician nominated Abrams for the historic prize.

Norwegian parliament member Lars Haltbrekken invoked Dr. Martin Luther King in his nomination speech for Abrams.

“Abrams’ work follows in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s footsteps in the fight for equality before the law and for civil rights,” he said. “Abrams’ efforts to complete King’s work are crucial if the United States of America shall succeed in its effort to create fraternity between all its peoples and a peaceful and just society.”

The connection between Stacey Abrams and Dr. Martin Luther King is valid–both Georgians worked tirelessly for African-Americans’ right to vote.

In 1957, Dr. King delivered an entire speech dedicated to voter suppression, now known as the “Give Us the Ballot” speech. “Give us the ballot, and we will transform the salient misdeeds of bloodthirsty mobs into the calculated good deeds of orderly citizens,” he said.

In 1965, Dr. Martin Luther King led a historic march in the town of Selma, Alabama because still only 2% of African-Americans were registered to vote. The march was intended to bring attention to the Jim Crow laws the town used to suppress the Black Vote.

Just months later, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the 1965 Voting Rights Act into law, a law that ended discriminatory election practices like literacy tests and poll taxes that required people registering to vote to pay a fee.

Stacey Abrams was instrumental in flipping Georgia from red to blue in 2020, people believe the nomination is well-deserved.

“Having researched what has been going on in Georgia’s fight for election reform the last few years,” wrote one Twitter user. “I’ve come to the conclusion that Stacey Abrams is not only a hero for what we have seen her doing, but also for what she did behind the scenes. She deserves the Nobel Peace Prize.”

Through her organization Fair Fight Action, Abrams and her team managed to register an estimated 800,000 new voters since its founding in 2014–many of them being people of color.

While Abrams’ nomination is meaningful, it’s also worth noting that the Nobel committee does not have a direct hand in who is nominated for their prizes. The nomination committee is made up if thousands of people, from international politicians to former winners.

Other exciting 2021 nominees were the Black Lives Matter Movement, environmental activist Greta Thunberg, and the World Health Organization (WHO).

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