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Former Baltimore mayor to deliver Birmingham-Southern College Stirling Lecture

Former Baltimore mayor to deliver Birmingham-Southern College Stirling Lecture

For Immediate Release
Jan. 30, 2017

Stephanie Rawlings-BlakeBIRMINGHAM, Ala.--Veteran Democratic political strategist Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who served as the 49th mayor of Baltimore, will address "Effective Leadership in Turbulent Times and Social Justice" at this year's Stirling Lecture on Feb. 13 at Birmingham-Southern College.

The lecture is set for 7 p.m. in Bruno Great Hall. It is free and open to the public.

Rawlings-Blake was elected by her peers in 2015 as the 73rd president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors--the first African-American woman to hold the post. A longtime active participant in national politics, she currently holds the position of secretary of the Democratic National Committee.

Rawlings-Blake launched her political career when she became the youngest person ever elected to the Baltimore City Council at the age of 25. She won a citywide election to the position of city council president, serving from 2007 until early 2010, when she became mayor. When her term ended in 2016, she did not seek re-election.

The hallmarks of Rawlings-Blake's administration included strong fiscal stewardship, regulatory reform, development, and sustainability programs to improve the lives of residents as well as attract and retain entrepreneurs and national retailers. Her package of financial reforms led to the city to receiving its highest bond ratings in more than 50 years.

Rawlings-Blake made history by signing a landmark executive order to protect new Americans from discrimination within Baltimore, and she fought for a state-wide ballot initiative known as the “Dream Act,” which provides in-state tuition rates for undocumented immigrant students who attend Maryland high schools.

She has been honored with numerous awards and accolades. In 2013, she received the First Citizen Award by the Maryland State Senate. The National Congress of Black Women named her a Shirley Chisholm Memorial Award Trailblazer, and the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women's Clubs named her one of Baltimore's “Young Women on the Move.”

Rawlings-Blake earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Oberlin College and her JD from the University of Maryland School of Law. She is a member of the Federal Bar Association and the Maryland State Bar Association, and has served on numerous boards, including the Baltimore Convention and Tourism Board. She lives in Baltimore with her husband and daughter.

The Stirling Lecture Series is sponsored by the college's Student Government Association in memory of Alex Stirling, a BSC student who died of cancer in 1995.

About Birmingham-Southern College:
Birmingham-Southern College is a four-year, private liberal arts institution in Birmingham, Ala., founded in 1856 and affiliated with the United Methodist Church. It enrolls about 1,300 students from more than 30 states and 15 foreign countries.