Just days before voters cast their ballots in the midterm elections, hundreds of community members and students filled Lander University's Abney Cultural Center Auditorium to hear from candidates running for local, state and federal offices, and to take part in asking questions of the contenders.
The Nov. 1 forum was funded in part by S.C. Humanities, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The "Democracy and the Informed Citizen" project is spearheaded by the national Federation of State Humanities Councils, of which S.C. Humanities is a member.
The event was part of Lander's "Achieving the Promise: Democracy and the Informed Citizen" series that provides events throughout the 2018-2019 academic year, building upon the university's legacy of civic engagement by giving a distinct set of opportunities and experiences for its campus community and the citizens within the Lakelands region.
"This is just one of the many ways that Lander partners with community organizations in Greenwood and across the Lakelands area," Lander President Dr. Richard Cosentino said as he opened the event. "Lander's campus has enjoyed a tradition of good, civil discussion about a diverse array of topics, and this conversation will continue that tradition, which is a critical element in our civic life together."
Dr. Lucas McMillan, dean of Lander's College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, and Richard Whiting, executive editor of the Index-Journal, served as moderators. Candidates who took part in the debate included:
The Achieving the Promise series will continue on Wednesday, Nov. 7, with a panel discussion on civic engagement, and a lecture by Lander professor Dr. Kimberly Richburg on Tuesday, Nov. 13, concerning "Briggs v. Elliott," the S.C. case that later inspired "Brown v. Board of Education."
The mission of South Carolina Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. This not-for-profit organization presents and/or supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos and humanities-based experiences that reach more than 250,000 citizens annually. South Carolina Humanities receives funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities as well as corporate, foundation and individual donors. It is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors comprised of community leaders from throughout the state.