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League of Women Voters Corpus Christi elects first Black president

Posted at 10:00 PM, May 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-25 08:24:34-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The League of Women Voters Corpus Christi has elected the organization's first Black president in chapter history.

Alice Upshaw-Hawkins has made a name for herself in the Corpus Christi community. Starting out in education, she credits her desire to pursue teaching to her mother and sister.

After graduating and receiving several degrees from Texas A&M University, Hawkins began teaching in several area districts. Over a span of nearly 30 years, those included Flour Bluff, Corpus Christi, and West Oso. Then, she began teaching composition at Del Mar College in 2003 before retiring from Flour Bluff ISD in 2011.

Hawkins says teaching students has transformed her life and given her hope to know that she is living up to her calling.

“When kids come back to tell you the difference that you made in their lives and they thank you, it means a lot. I've gotten that a lot," Hawkins said.

With her dedication to education recognized in 2016, Hawkins was elected CCISD's first black female board trustee. She earned more votes than any other candidate in the board's election history.

While serving students in her community, she joined the League of Women Voters Corpus Christi nearly eight years ago. As a member, she helped to inform voters of the importance of their place in politics.

“I really fell in love with the idea that the League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan organization and it is not about parties," Hawkins said, "It’s about giving everybody the opportunity to vote.”

Now that she has been elected the Corpus Christi chapter's first Black president, Hawkins says her hope is to see the league shape itself into an organization that is embracing of all ages. Her desire is to bridge the gap of young voters and to get more people past registration and to the polls.

The League of Women Voters started nationally in the 1920s, legally establishing women the right to vote. More than 100 years later, Hawkins says her goal for serving as the local chapter president is to set an example for all women and to let young girls, particularly girls of color, know that they have a lot to offer the world.

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