The Engaged Citizen: Stories from Activists

South Carolina Humanities and Lander University are pleased to present “The Engaged Citizen: Stories from Activists,” one of eleven virtual programs in the South Carolina Humanities Electoral Initiative. The live, virtual roundtable will take place on Monday, February 22, 2021 at 5:30 PM. Mary Anne Inglis, Laurin Manning Gandy, and Jerry Blassingame will discuss avenues for civic engagement, ideological polarization, and the rural/urban divide. The program will be recorded and made available to view on-demand after the live event. Click here to register for the event. If you view the program, please click here to take our brief survey.

The South Carolina Humanities Electoral Initiative is part of a national initiative entitled “Why It Matters: Civic and Electoral Participation” administered by the Federation of State Humanities Councils and funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Through “Why It Matters,” 43 humanities councils will explore the history, importance, and impact of the American electoral process.

Mary Anne Inglis is a former manager of Republican congressional campaigns, including that of her husband, Bob Inglis, former U.S. Representative for South Carolina’s Fourth District. She is co-founder of My Neighbor’s Voice, a Greenville, S.C.-based organization that hosts forums on how to build stronger communities in a time of toxic partnership.

Laurin Manning Gandy is a digital media strategist based in Darlington County, S.C. She served as a staff member for former President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign and as digital director for U.S. Sen. Cory Booker’s 2020 presidential campaign in South Carolina.

Jerry Blassingame is Founder and CEO of Soteria Community Development Corporation in Greenville, S.C. Soteria provides programs to assist and empower individuals who have been incarcerated through education, affordable housing, financial literacy, and entrepreneurship.  Blassingame served three and a half years in prison, was pardoned in 2004, and continues to fight for legislative change.

The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. Established in 1973, this 501(c) 3 organization is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors comprised of community leaders from throughout the state. It presents and/or supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos and other humanities-based experiences that directly or indirectly reach more than 250,000 citizens annually.