Attica Woodson Scott is an African-American woman from the West End of Louisville, Kentucky, United States. She is a politician, an activist, a community organizer and a certified anti-racism trainer.
Scott stand 5’0″ and is a single mother with two children namely Advocate Scott and Ashanti Scott. Attica follows the footsteps of Georgia Davis Powers, who became the first woman and first person of color elected to Kentucky’s state Senate in 1967, and Eleanor Jordan, the state’s first African American candidate for national office.
Attica is a protégé of Jordan, who served as Kentucky’s representative from 1996 to 2000. Here are 13 more facts about Attica:
- She has a younger brother. Their father was in and out of jail while their mother suffered from alcohol and drug addiction and died in January 2005. She told Louisville Magazine, “That has helped to shape who I am today as someone who believes that we have to do more for people who are struggling with these addictions and their families. We have to do more for kids whose parents are incarcerated and we have to do more for people who are trying to provide for their families.”
- In 1976, she and her family moved to Los Angeles, California, USA because her parents wanted to get involved with the Black Panther Party, she told Teen Vogue. As children, she and her younger brother briefly lived in the Beecher Terrace public housing development in Louisville. They moved to a lot, stayed with their mother on the West Coast and returned to Louisville where they lived with their grandmothers and other family members.
- From 1990 to 1994, she attended Knoxville College in Knoxville, Tennessee, USA, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in political science. She was the student newspaper editor.
- From 1995 to 2000, she attended the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where she earned her master’s degree in communications. She was a member of the Black Faculty and Staff Association in the university.
- In 1996, she gave birth to Advocate. From 1997 to 1998, she worked for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in Washington, USA as a grant reviewer. She reviewed applications from colleges and universities applying for the Community Outreach Partnership Centers grant.
- From December 1998 to January 2001, she worked as a program coordinator at the Community Partnership Center of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. In 2001, she gave birth to Ashanti, who went on to become a Mitch McConnell scholar at the University of Louisville.
- From March 2001 to July 2004, she was the executive director of the National Conference for Community and Justice. From September 2004 to February 2012, she served as a coordinator for the Kentucky chapter of Jobs with Justice, a coalition of community groups, faith-based organizations, students and labor unions.
- From 2009 to 2011, she was the secretary of the National Organizers Alliance. From January 2009 to May 2011, she worked at Bellarmine University in Louisville as an adjunct faculty member teaching a course on Labor, Protest and the Struggle for Human Rights. She is also a former adjunct professor at Jefferson Community and Technical College in Louisville.
- In 2010, she graduated from the first class of Emerge Kentucky, an organization that prepares Democratic women to run for office. In the same year, she ran for the Jefferson County Public School Board in Louisville and placed second, beating only three of her four fellow candidates.
- She was 39 years old when the Louisville Metro Council selected her in 2011 to replace Judy Green, who was removed from the council due to ethics violations. In 2012, she won a special election to fill the remainder of Green’s term. In 2014, she lost her reelection to Green’s daughter Jessica Green. As a city council member from October 2011 to 2014, she worked on various issues including affordable housing, labor and economic development.
- In July 2015, she volunteered as an English immersion teacher in Taining County, Fujian Province, China.
- On May 18, 2016, she won the Democratic primary for Kentucky’s 41st House District, defeating Tom Riner and Phil Baker. On November 8, 2016, she had no Republican challenger in the general election, making her the first African-American woman to serve in the Kentucky General Assembly since 2000. She assumed office on January 3, 2017.
- In August 2020, she pre-filed Breonna’s Law, a legislation to end the use of no-knock warrants in Kentucky in honor of Breonna Taylor. At 8:58 p.m. on September 24, 2020, she and Ashanti were among the 24 people arrested by by the Louisville Metro Police Department after protesting in Louisville against the grand jury decision that absolved the three cops involved in the fatal shooting of Taylor namely Brett Hankison, 44, Jonathan Mattingly, 47, and Myles Cosgrove, 42. She was charged with unlawful assembly, failure to disperse and rioting and was released from custody in the morning of September 25, 2020.