Louisiana State Sen. Katrina Jackson was selected as the guest speaker at this year’s Women’s History Month Convocation, which took place onMarch 28 at the Fredrick C. Hobdy Center.
Jackson took the podium to deliver insightful words, wisdom, history, and encouragement to the women of GSU and all the attendees.
Sen. Jackson is a native of Monroe, Louisiana, where she pursued a bachelor’s degree at the University of Louisiana-Monroe and then went on to receive a Juris Doctor degree from the Southern University Law Center.
After years of being a practicing attorney, in 2011 she was elected to the state House. Eight years later, Jackson would be elected unopposed to succeed Democratic lawmaker Francis C. Thompson for District 34 in the Louisiana State Senate. Sen. Jackson is also a member of the Louisiana Legislative Women's Caucus and the Louisiana Rural Caucus and is the head of the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus.
Jackson began her speech by awarding freshman Quinesha Thomas, a member of the GSU Choir, a $500 scholarship for simply being a native of one of the many parishes Jackson represents. Jackson described this gesture as a way to “give back in whatever I do.”
The senator began her speech by acknowledging how the roles of women have changed and how important it is to take a minute to examine and appreciate this time in history. Women have made great strides in society as times have progressed forward.
Jackson touched on the times when women were not expected to, or even accepted, into, some universities.
She said that now, women are not only graduating at the top of their classes, but they are receiving master's and doctorate degrees, and leading the world in Fortune 500 companies.
Jackson then continued to shine a light on the specific women who have made tremendous impacts on women's history in the last hundreds of years.
From mentioning poet Maya Angelou to mentioning today’s impactful leaders in U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris and former First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Jackson said that she is proud to witness barriers be knocked down due to women continuing to push the movement.
Jackson even shouted out Miss Grambling State University Faith Daniels, praising her accomplishments and her work in the community.
The senator went on to give the Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson some praise, as she is on the verge of potentially making history as the first African American woman to be appointed to the Supreme Court.
Jackson concluded her speech by focusing her attention on the women of GSU. She stated that everyone has the chance to go higher and that women should take advantage of these opportunities that they were once “locked out of.”
“It is so important to go back to where you come from.” Jackson said when asked how significant it is to come back to HBCUs and give insight to fellow African American students.
“One thing I tell young ladies is don’t put so much on those who don't believe in you. Put time and thought into those who do believe in you. Put time and thought into your studies, in God and where he is taking you. The future is bright.”