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S.C. Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter To Discuss Role of Black Women in Politics
2/4/2016 11:58:52 AM

Gilda Cobb-Hunter

South Carolina Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter will be the keynote speaker at the College of Charleston’s Office of Institutional Diversity Signature Speaker Series at 6 p.m. on Feb. 12, 2016.

The event will take place in the Stern Student Center Ballroom, located at 71 George St.

In celebration of National Black History Month, the topic of Cobb-Hunter’s speech is “Shaping the Future of South Carolina Politics: The Role of Black Women.”

Cobb-Hunter is a person of many firsts. She became the first African American woman in Orangeburg County elected to a statewide office when she won a seat in the S.C. House of Representatives in 1992, an office she continues to hold. She is the first freshman ever appointed to – and currently the ranking member of – the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. And in 1997, with her election as minority leader, she became the first person of color, male or female, to lead a South Carolina legislative caucus.

“The Office of Institutional Diversity is very fortunate and honored to have Representative Cobb-Hunter as its 2016 National Black History Month keynote speaker, and we are looking forward to her visit,” said John Bello-Ogunu, Sr., chief diversity officer for the College of Charleston. “Through her numerous, diverse, and enviable accomplishments to date, Gilda Cobb-Hunter has, and continues to contribute to the very rich history of blacks in South Carolina and in America in general.”

Cobb-Hunter, who is often referred to as “the conscience of the House,” is widely respected on both sides of the aisle in the S.C. General Assembly. In her capacity as vice-chair of the African-American History Monument Commission, Cobb-Hunter led the historic effort to build the first monument to African Americans on the grounds of any state capitol. She represents South Carolina as the national committeewoman to the Democratic National Committee (DNC), where she also serves as a member of the group’s executive committee and as chair of the DNC’s Southern Regional Caucus; she is the first woman of color ever elected to that position.

In addition to being awarded honorary degrees from the College of Charleston and the Medical University of South Carolina, she is also the recipient of the David Wilkins Legislative Leadership Award from the Riley Institute at Furman University.

Cobb-Hunter earned a bachelor’s degree in Afro-history from Florida A & M University and a master’s degree in American history from Florida State University. Since 1985, she has served as executive director of CASA/Family Systems, a family violence agency serving Orangeburg, Bamberg and Calhoun counties. She continues to work on the national, regional and state levels on a variety of progressive issues aimed at making communities a better place for working families to live.


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