Congressman Jim Clyburn to Speak at Spirit of Freedom Luncheon

February 16, 2011 at 4:32 pm

Spartanburg, S.C.
—- Congressman James E. (Jim) Clyburn (D-SC) will be the featured speaker at the Spirit of Freedom Luncheon on Wednesday, February 23 at 12:00 noon in the Campus Life Center Ballroom on the campus of the University of South Carolina Upstate. Reflecting upon the university’s commitment to diversity, the Spirit of Freedom Luncheon is one of many Black History Month events planned for February at the university. 
     Doors will open at 11:30 a.m. USC Upstate faculty, staff and students will be admitted free of charge, but reservations must be made through the Office of Student Life at (864) 503-5387 or via email to by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, February 21, 2011. Members of the community are also welcome, but will need to purchase a ticket for $15. Tickets are available through the Office of Student Life.
     Congressman Clyburn has represented South Carolina’s 6th congressional district since 1993, and now serves as Assistant Democratic Leader of the 112th Congress. His district includes Florence, Sumter, and large portions of Columbia and Charleston. As the number three Democrat in the House, Clyburn will be the leadership liaison to the Appropriations Committee and one of the Democratic Caucus’ primary liaisons to the White House. President Barack Obama said of Clyburn that he is “One of a handful of people who, when they speak, the entire Congress listens.”
     Clyburn spent his entire life living in the current 6th congressional district.  He was born and raised in Sumter, the eldest son of a fundamentalist minister and a cosmetologist. He was elected president of his NAACP youth chapter when he was 12 years old, helped organize many civil rights marches and demonstrations as a student leader at South Carolina State College, and even met his wife Emily in jail during one of his incarcerations.
     As a national leader Clyburn has worked to respond to the needs of America’s diverse communities. He championed rural communities by supporting the development of regional water projects, community health centers, and broadband connections. He supported higher education by leading the charge for increased Pell grants; investing in science and math programs and historic preservation at historically black colleges and universities. He has encouraged economic development by securing funding for Empowerment Zones; investing in green technology development such as nuclear, wind, hydrogen and biofuels; and directing 10 percent of Recovery Act funding to communities 20 percent under the poverty level for the past 30 years. Clyburn was instrumental in advancing into law measures to resolve historic discrimination issues, significantly reducing the statutory disparity in cocaine sentencing and compensating African and Native American farmers who suffered racial discrimination under the USDA loan program.
     For further information or to obtain tickets, contact Stacey Mills in the Office of Student Life, or (854) 503-5387.