PEMBROKE — A New York Times bestselling author who was once the nation’s youngest African-American elected official will speak at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke in February.
Bakari Sellers, 22, beat a sitting state representative for 26 years to become the youngest member of the South Carolina state legislature in 2006. He entered the history that year, becoming the youngest elected African-American.
Sellers will appear at 7 p.m. on February 28 at the Givens Performing Arts Center as part of the Distinguished Speaker Series. He will be joined on stage by Loury Floyd, Dean of the UNCP School of Education.
“The Office of Campus Engagement and Leadership is thrilled to welcome Bakari Sellers to campus for Black History Month. He is a tremendous leader and activist,” said Abdul Ghaffar, Director of Campus Engagement and Leadership and University Center.
“He will share his story, talk about current affairs and social issues, and share his perspective on leadership,” Ghaffar added.
Sellers earned his undergraduate degree from Morehouse College, where he served as student body president, and his law degree from the University of South Carolina. He followed in the footsteps of his father, civil rights leader Cleveland Sellers, in his tireless commitment to advocating for progressive policies to address issues ranging from education and poverty to preventing domestic violence and child abuse. childhood obesity.
Sellers recently released a children’s book called “Who Are Your People?” The book offers a journey through pivotal moments in African-American history. It debuted last week at No. 4 on The New York Times Bestseller list for children’s picture books.
With his list of accomplishments, in addition to serving on President Barack Obama’s steering committee in South Carolina during the 2008 election, Sellers is widely considered a rising star in the Democratic Party and a leading voice for his generation. This, coupled with his uncommon ability to walk across the aisle and get things done, has led to numerous accolades, including his nomination to TIME magazine’s 40 Under 40 list in 2010 and 2014, and the 2015 “The Root 100” of the most influential people in the country. African Americans.
In 2014, he was the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor of South Carolina. He was a guest speaker at events for the National Education Association, the College Democrats of America National Convention, and the 2008 and 2016 Democratic National Conventions.
Sellers practices law at the law firm Strom, LLC in Columbia, South Carolina, and is a political analyst for CNN. He and his wife, Ellen Rucker-Sellers, have a family connection to the UNCP. Their niece, Zion Sellers, is a student and a member of the women’s soccer team.
The Distinguished Speaker Series is presented by the Office of Campus Engagement and Leadership and GPAC. Tickets are $10 for general admission, $5 for faculty/staff/children, and free for UNCP students with a valid student ID.
The vendor tour is co-sponsored by the Givens Performing Arts Center and the School of Education. He is the third speaker in the Distinguished Speaker Series, after Jesse Cole and Tommy Orange. Dr. Megan Ranney will visit March 15 and Angelina Boulley on March 28.
Mark Locklear is a public communications specialist at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.