Sista to Watch: KY State Representative Attica Scott



Occupation: State Representative

Hometown: Louisville, KY

Twitter Handle: @AtticaScott



About Attica Scott

In 2016,  State Representative Attica Scott defeated a 34-year incumbent to become the first Black woman in nearly 20 years to serve in the state legislature.

Representative Scott serves Kentucky House District 41 where she is on the Education; Local Government; and Elections, Constitutional Amendments, and Intergovernmental Affairs Committees; and State Government and Transportation Work Group during the interim session. She volunteered as an English immersion teacher in Taining County, Fujian Province, China in July 2015.

In 2010, Representative Scott graduated from the first class of Emerge Kentucky and was recognized as a Connector by Leadership Louisville. She was awarded the 2011 national “Woman of Vision” Award by the Ms. Foundation for Women. Representative Scott was a featured Daughter of Greatness at the Muhammad Ali Center in January 2013. In 2014, she helped pass pivotal legislation on Louisville Metro Council including a Ban the Box ordinance and the historic minimum wage ordinance, as well as a resolution to restore voting rights to Kentuckians.

In 2017, Representative Scott was named to Essence Magazine’s list of #Woke100 women, became a Rise to Run Trailblazer and began serving on the Emerge Kentucky Board of Advisors.

Representative Scott provided leadership to a number of non-profit Board of Directors including Building Hope Kentucky, Women’s Network Commonwealth Institute for Policy Issues and Civic Engagement Board of Fellows, La Casita Center, Highlander Center for Research and Education “We Shall Overcome” Fund Advisory Board, New Directions Housing Corporation, Restorative Justice Louisville, National Organizers Alliance, Community Development Corporation at Greater Friendship Baptist Church, Hispanic/Latino Coalition of Louisville, and more.

Representative Scott is a certified anti-racism trainer through Crossroads Ministry and the Commission on Religion in Appalachia. Her proudest accomplishment is being a mom to Advocate and Ashanti.


Higher Heights: What inspired you to want to work in the political arena?

Representative Scott: I was inspired from birth to want to be deeply involved in politics. I am named after the prison in upstate New York where months before my birth there was a historic prisoner uprising. My parents moved to California to join the Black Panther Party; although, they never actually joined but remained in solidarity.

It is people of color, women and young people who inspired me as an adult to step out and take a risk. It was sitting around a kitchen table of Black women who were clear that our local politics did not reflect nor represent us and knowing that we wanted something different that lead me to my first run for office.



Higher Heights: What advice do you have for Black women that want to spark change?

Representative Scott: I encourage Black women who want to spark change to surround yourself with other women who want to spark change rather than with people who are committed to maintaining the status quo. I encourage you to do what your soul calls you to do even when people in your own community try to create barriers for the change you are trying to spark. Your very existence will be criticized so work for the institutional and systemic change that matters most to you, anyway. You are probably the person that someone is watching and hoping will step out there so that they, too, can take a leap of faith.


Higher Heights: What do you feel is the single most pressing issue facing Black women today and why?

Representative Scott: We have so many issues that we are facing as Black women, from the assault on reproductive justice to trying to make ends meet on poverty-level wages. We, like our sisters in Latinx and Native communities, often live near the worst environmental hazards. We must address our issues holistically, we must name our challenges, and we must infiltrate the places where decisions are being made about opportunities to move forward.


Higher Heights: Tell us about a woman mentor that has helped you on your journey?

Representative Scott: I have so many women mentors, including young women who remind me to remember, women who are my peers who hold me close, and older women who provide me with sage advice and wisdom. One of my political mentors is the Honorable Eleanor Jordan who was the last Black woman to serve in the Kentucky legislature nearly 20 years before my election (she also ran for Congress). Ms. Jordan often shares stories about her experiences in the  community and legislature, she gives me much-needed feedback on my political work, and has supported my campaigns.