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President Obama Announces Intent to Appoint FAMU Alumna to Educational Excellence Advisory Commission

President Obama
Posted at 3:57 PM, Jan 24, 2014
and last updated 2014-01-24 15:57:00-05

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Jan. 16, President Barack Obama announced his intent to appoint Florida A&M University (FAMU) alumna Sharon J. Lettman-Hicks as one of 15 individuals who will serve on the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans.

Lettman-Hicks is currently the executive director and chief executive officer of the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), a position she has held since 2009. The Coalition is a civil rights organization dedicated to empowering black lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.

Prior to accepting her post at the NBJC, Lettman-Hicks served as the executive vice president of People for the American Way from 2001 to 2009. 

According to the White House’s Office of the Press Secretary, the Commission is charged with “strengthening the nation by improving educational outcomes for African Americans to ensure that all African Americans receive an education that prepares them for college, productive careers and satisfying lives.”  

Members of the Commission will serve the President by advising him, along with the Secretary of Education, on ways to advance federal programs that improve educational opportunities for African Americans, increase participation of the African American community in federal agency programs and engage stakeholders in a national dialogue on the mission.

 “These fine public servants bring both a depth of experience and tremendous dedication to their new roles,” Obama said in a recent announcement. “Our nation will be well-served by these men and women, and I look forward to working with them in the months and years to come.”

Lettman-Hicks has been lauded around the nation for her continued efforts to bridge gaps across race, religion and sexual orientation. She credits FAMU for playing an integral role in preparing her to become a national leader in civil rights issues.

“The woman, mother and servant leader that I am today is due, in large part, to my growth and development at FAMU,” she said.

She added, “This intended appointment by President Barack Obama is not only for me…. This appointment provides the opportunity for me to pay it forward.”

Lettman-Hicks previously served on the Advisory Council of Progressive Majority’s Racial Justice Campaign and currently serves as a Project Advisory Committee Member of the LGBT Safe Schools Initiative for the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network.

In 2002, she successfully managed the Florida Coalition to Reduce Class Size Campaign. The following year, she ran FAMU alumnus Andrew Gillum’s campaign to become the youngest city commissioner in Tallahassee history.

She is a life member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the FAMU National Alumni Association and the NAACP.