The Center for American Women and Politics, the ground-breaking training ground for women’s rise in elected politics, is announcing its incoming 2014 Winona Lipman Chair in Women’s Political Leadership. She is Rep. Donna Edwards, Democrat of Maryland’s 4th congressional district, which includes much of the Washington, D.C. suburbs. The first African-American woman ever elected to Congress from Maryland.
Edwards (Twitter: @repdonnaedwards) will give a public lecture at Rutgers next April 23rd. She follows a line of former Lipman Chairs, including Donna Brazile (my favorite, because she made herself available for a strategy session on the fly for a campaign I was working on), Valerie Jarrett, congresswomen Shirley Chisholm and Eleanor Holmes Norton, journalist Gwen Ifill and South African anti-apartheid activist Hon. Gertrude Foster (list here). Melody Barnes is the 2013 honoree.
When we talk about the kinds of people we hope to see enter and succeed in elected office, when we bring up names like Marie Corfield who bring an activist’s drive to politics, we could be talking about someone whose had the trajectory into Congress that Donna Edwards has.