Abrams among Nobel Peace Prize nominees

JORDYN BRADLEY, ZACHARY CARPENTER
SPORTS EDITOR, STAFF WRITER

Stacey Abrams–who rose to the forefront of American politics during the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial election–was among nominees for the Nobel Peace Prize. The award is given out yearly to the person or organization deemed to have done the most to promote peace and democracy around the world.

Throughout the 2020 General Election, Abrams worked tirelessly through her non-profit, Fair Fight Action, which sought to increase voter turnout around Georgia, specifically with minorities who have long been oppressed within the state.

Through her efforts, Georgia flipped from Republican to Democrat during a presidential election for the first time since 1992 when Bill Clinton beat George H. W. Bush.

Additionally, she helped to lead Democrats John Ossoff and Raphael Warnock to wins in their January 2021 runoff election over incumbents David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, respectively.

“[Abrams] is being nominated for her work with voter registration…Voter suppression is illegal in this country, and there isn’t much, if any in Georgia in the year 2020,” said Matt Garland (‘23), a resident of Georgia.

“Were there to be legal voter suppression against American citizens and she did something about it, I’d feel a lot better about the nomination being given.”

According to Fair Fight’s website, they seek to, “promote fair elections in Georgia and around the country, encourage voter participation in elections and educate voters about…their voting rights.”

“I find it inspiring that her loss in [2018] drove her to start Fair Fight Action and become the face and facilitator of promoting crucial nonviolent change via the ballot box in 2020,” said Maya Dora-Laskey, professor of English, when asked her thoughts on the nomination.

Abrams was nominated by Lars Haltbrekken, a leading member of the Socialist Party of Norway.

Rounding out the list of others nominated for the award were: The Black Lives Matter movement for their role in fighting for racial justice and spreading racial awareness in the wake of the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of police (among others), Greta Thumberg for her role in spreading awareness about the dangers of climate change, Alexei Navalny for standing up to an oppressive regime in Russia and Jared Kushner for normalizing relationships between the United Arab Emirates and Israel, as well as other Middle Eastern nations.

“The shortlist isn’t usually prepared until March, so this is the unfiltered list and presents us with a contradictory range simultaneously grim and risible,” said Dora-Laskey.

“On this year’s list we have Stacey Abrams and Donald Trump who have been public with their disagreements and do not concur on issues and policies from the confederate flag to taxation or voting rights.”

Previous winners of the award from the United States include Barack Obama in 2009, “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.” Additionally, Al Gore won the award in 2007 and Jimmy Carter won in 2002, rounding out the winners from the United States during the 21st Century.

Beyond holding the distinction of being among few who have been named throughout history, the award also comes with a payout of 10 million Swedish Crowns (about 1.4 million dollars), a medal and the title, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.

“The Nobel Peace Prize announcement is definitely a world-event and confers a lot of attention on the recipient(s),” said Dora-Laskey.

However, with a list of 210 people and 107 organizations nominated for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize this early, that list has the opportunity to grow even more before the winner is announced in October.

“Given that thousands of people, including university professors, are able to nominate candidates, the nomination itself doesn’t account for much,” said Dora-Laskey.

“When we hear about the nominees it’s usually from the nominees or nominators–not from the Nobel committee, so the evidence to support their claims are somewhat circumstantial.”

Still, the list of nominees that was made public on Feb. 1 is drawing the attention of people around the world.

With 2020’s election results still looming, eyes are on Abrams to see what is to come. According to close allies of Abrams, she is strongly considering another run at Governor of Georgia in 2022, likely setting the stage for another election against current Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, who won by a mere 50,000 votes the last time the two faced off.

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