A champion for everyday people, Andrew Gillum inspired millions across Florida and the nation in 2018. He surged past four better-funded primary candidates to a history-making victory as the Florida Democratic Party's first African-American nominee for governor.
The first in his family to graduate from high school and college, he knows first-hand how strong values, schools, and community can set an individual on a different course.
A lifelong public servant, Andrew Gillum is recognized across Florida and the nation as a bold and inspirational leader. The former mayor of Tallahassee and 2018 Florida Democratic gubernatorial nominee, Gillum brought Floridians together in pursuit of fundamental human rights - the right to a well-paying job; the right to a good education; and the right to quality health care. The only Democratic candidate for governor in Florida this century who wasn't a millionaire, he won the hearts and minds of millions.
Above all, Andrew Gillum shows us what fearless leadership looks like. His efforts to help uplift his fellow Floridians stretch back more than 15 years. Elected to the Tallahassee City Commission at age 23, he is youngest person elected in the city's history. At age 21, while still a student at Florida A&M University, he led one thousand students to protest then-Govenor Jeb Bush's attempt to end affirmative action. As a city commissioner, he championed restorative justice programs to rehabilitate and educate offenders. He also created public-private partnerships to secure funding for computers and internet access for middle school students. As mayor, Gillum spearheaded the construction of a 20-megawatt solar farm, giving thousands of Tallahassee residents the ability to rely on clean, renewable energy for the first time. Recognizing his commitment to innovation and technology, then-President Barack Obama named Tallahassee one of just 50 TechHire cities in the nation.
Following his historic run for governor, Andrew Gillum was honored as one of the EBONY Power 100, and named a 2019 Resident Fellow at the Institute of Politics (IOP) at Harvard Kennedy School. Gillum resides in Tallahassee, Florida with his wife, R. Jai, and their three children - Jackson, Caroline and Davis.
Return to the 2020 Black History Month Lecture page here.