About the Hannah Atkins Memorial Lecture Series
The Hannah Atkins Speaker Series was created in honor of Hannah Atkins, the first African-American woman state legislator in Oklahoma. Atkins had a profoundly influential career in public service, and would go on to simultaneously serve as Oklahoma's Secretary of State and Secretary of Social Services, making her the highest-ranking woman in the Oklahoma state government. Throughout her political career, she advocated for improvements in health care (including mental health), education, women's rights, and civil rights.
Beginning September 2016, Dr. Farida Jalalzai, the current holder of the Hannah Atkins Endowed Chair in Political Science, instituted the Hannah Atkins Memorial Lecture to pay tribute to Atkin's legacy as a political trailblazer. This speaker series brings to the OSU campus researchers who seek to improve our understanding of the political empowerment of traditionally disadvantaged peoples and minority groups, each talk highlighting the important role these individuals can play in building a healthy democratic society.