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National Diversity Symposium "Voting Rights: The Key to American Democracy"


Jun 26, 2021 10:49 AM

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Dr. Shirley Weber
CA Secretary of State
Shirley Nash Weber, Ph.D. was nominated to serve as California Secretary of State by Governor Gavin Newsom on December 22, 2020 and sworn into office on January 29, 2021. She is California’s first Black Secretary of State and only the fifth African American to serve as a state constitutional officer in California’s 170-year history. It was her family’s experience in the Jim Crow South that has driven her activism and legislative work. She has fought to secure and expand civil rights for all Californians, including restoring voting rights for individuals who have completed their prison term. Before her appointment, Secretary Weber served four terms as an Assembly Member representing California's 79th Assembly District, which includes parts of the City of San Diego as well as several cities and communities in the San Diego region. Weber also served as a member and chair of the San Diego Unified School District and has twice served as a California Elector.
Congresswoman Maxine Waters
Congresswoman, 43-CD
Congresswoman Maxine Waters, CD-43 Congresswoman Waters is currently in her 15th term in the House. She is the most senior of the twelve black women currently serving in Congress. As a powerful voice in the fight against voter suppression, Congresswoman Waters was integral in the attempt to pass HR-1 bill - "For the People Act of 2021", of which she will speak about in the Symposium. Before becoming a U.S. Representative, Waters served in the California State Assembly, to which she was first elected in 1976. As an assemblywoman, she advocated divestment from South Africa's apartheid regime. Waters was included in Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People of 2018.