Annual scholarship funds Women in Government Leadership program participants.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – July 11, 2017 – The Governing Institute and the State Legislative Leaders Foundation (SLLF) announced the selection of Indiana State Rep. Robin Shackleford of Indianapolis as the Class of 2018 Lois M. DeBerry Scholarship recipient.

The Governing Institute’s Women in Government Leadership Program highlights the outstanding contributions of women in elected office, provides leadership development and job critical skills during three summits, and creates a network to pay it forward by mentoring the next generation of women leaders in state and local government. Rep. Shackleford is the first member of the Class of 2018 to be announced; the full cohort of 25 elected women leaders will be released later this month.

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 of the state House of Representatives, second African American woman to serve and the first woman speaker pro tempore of the Tennessee House.

Rep. Shackleford was elected to the Indiana House of Representatives in 2012 to serve the residents of District 98, including portions of Indianapolis and the northeast suburbs. Rep. Shackleford is assistant chair of the House Democratic Caucus and serves on three committees: Public Health (ranking D); Government and Regulatory Reform; and Financial Institutions. As a lawmaker, Rep. Shackleford has pursued initiatives designed to improve career opportunities for minorities and women across Indiana. In recent sessions, she has been at the forefront of a movement to improve access to healthy food options and put an end to food deserts in urban and rural areas of the state.

“Over the course of my life, it has been my great fortune to know and learn from women who emphasize the importance of service to your community and those around you,” Rep. Shackleford said. “I take those responsibilities seriously, and I consider it imperative to help pave the way for younger people to understand the values and benefits that come from striving to improve where you live and work. I have been privileged to take an active role in the Political Organization for Women’s Education and Representation in Indiana, a group of women state lawmakers interested in improving the quality of life for all women here. One annual project is providing scholarships for working mothers and others to further their education. I am truly humbled to be mentioned in the same breath with the Honorable Lois M. DeBerry, and I will take this honor as an inspiration to help future Lois DeBerrys become active in public service,” she continued.

“Representative Shackelford continues the tradition of honoring women who have dedicated themselves to public service,” said Stephen G. Lakis, president and chief executive officer of SLLF. “By her deeds and character, she demonstrates the very qualities of leadership and compassion that defined Lois’s career. Lois would be proud!”

“The Governing Institute is grateful to SLLF for this ongoing investment in the Women in Government Leadership Program to honor Representative Lois DeBerry,” said Cathilea Robinett, president of Governing. “Achieving gender parity in our state and local elected offices will take significant time and resources as well as remarkable leaders like Representative Shackleford, who is already a role model dedicated to mentoring future women candidates and officeholders. Welcome Rep. Shackleford to the Class of 2018!”

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

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. And through the Emerging Leaders Program, the 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 Robin Shackleford
Indiana State Representative
(317) 232-9600