Annual scholarship funds Women in Government Leadership program honoree.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 24, 2018 – The Governing Institute and the State Legislative Leaders Foundation (SLLF) announced the selection of Georgia State Rep. Debra Bazemore of South Fulton as the Women in Government Class of 2019 Lois M. DeBerry Scholarship recipient.

The Governing Institute’s Women in Government Leadership Program has three pillars: to highlight outstanding women elected to office with high profile media coverage, to provide leadership development and job critical skills and to create a network of women who pay it forward by mentoring other women to run for office. Rep. Bazemore is the first member of the Class of 2019 to be selected; the full cohort of 25 honorees will be announced this summer.

The Hon. Lois M. DeBerry served in the Tennessee House of Representatives with distinction for 41 years from 1972 until her passing in 2013. She was the longest-serving member, second African American woman, and the first woman speaker pro tempore of the state House of Representatives.

Rep. Bazemore was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 2016 to serve the residents of District 63, including portions of Fulton, Fayette and Clayton counties. Rep. Bazemore is the Assistant Deputy Minority Whip and serves on the Intragovernmental Coordination, Natural Resources & Environment and State Planning & Community Affairs Committees. As a lawmaker, Rep. Bazemore has prioritized public safety to allow families to thrive, homeownership to rise and entrepreneurs to invest. She spends significant time engaging young people to become informed voters and citizens, and actively seeks millennials to serve as community leaders. Her focus on relationships is necessary given the diversity of issues and needs across her three-county district, the only such district in the state of Georgia. Rep. Bazemore is also prioritizing cybersecurity following recent cyberattacks on her campaign website and the city of Atlanta.

“I am truly honored to be the SLLF Lois M. DeBerry scholar for the Class of 2019” said Rep. Bazemore. “Participating in this program will provide me additional tools and resources to better advocate for my District 63 constituents and the entire State of Georgia. There is no greater joy for women leaders than to walk in the footsteps of the ones who came before us and left footprints for us to follow.”

“Every year when we come together to honor the newest recipient of the Lois M. DeBerry scholarship, I reflect on her years of service and all that she did for the people of Tennessee, especially those in need,” said Stephen G. Lakis, president and chief executive officer of SLLF.  “There is no greater honor to her legacy than celebrating a person who exemplifies everything she stood for: integrity, grit, determination, and an abiding faith in the goodness of humanity. Congratulations Debra, Lois would be proud.”

“SLLF’s continuing investment in the Women in Government Leadership Program exemplifies their commitment to recognizing trailblazing women like Lois M. DeBerry and creating a future with more women in elected state and local office,” said Cathilea Robinett, president of Governing. “SLLF’s nomination of Rep. Bazemore as the fourth Lois M. DeBerry honoree is a strong endorsement of her service to the citizens of Georgia, her leadership potential, and as a national role model for other women considering a run for office.”

Previous honorees for the Lois M. DeBerry Scholarship include Rep. Raumesh Akbari of Tennessee (Class of 2016), Sen. Holly J. Mitchell of California (Class of 2017), and Rep. Robin Shackleford of Indiana (Class of 2018).

About the Governing Institute

The Governing Institute advances better government by improving performance and outcomes through research, decision support and executive education to help public sector leaders govern more effectively. Governing is a division of e.Republic, the nation’s only media and research company focused exclusively on state and local government and education.

About the State Legislative Leaders Foundation (SLLF)

SLLF is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to professional development for our nation’s current and future state legislative leaders. The constituency includes Speakers of the House, Senate Presidents, Majority Leaders, Minority Leaders and Pro Tempores. Through the Emerging Leaders Program, SLLF offers mentoring to first- and second-term legislators identified by their peers as future leaders.

For more information:
Julia Burrows
Director, Governing Institute

Stephen G. Lakis
President and Chief Executive Officer, State Legislative Leaders Foundation

The Honorable Debra Bazemore
Georgia State Representative