Spring 2021 Commencement Speaker
Bakari Sellers is an attorney, political commentator and author. He was born into an activist family. His father, civil rights leader Cleveland Sellers, instilled core values in him to continue in the tireless commitment to service.
In 2005, Sellers ?earned a bachelor's degree in African-American Studies from Morehouse College. He continued his education at the University of South Carolina School of Law in 2008, earning a juris doctor. He currently ?practices law with the Strom Law Firm LLC in Columbia, South Carolina, where he heads the firm’s Strategic Communication and Public Affairs team and has recently added Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Consulting to the list of services offered.
Sellers made history in the 2006 South Carolina state legislature at the age of 22 as the youngest African-American elected official in the nation. His political career did not stop there. In 2014, he was the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor in South Carolina. ?Sellers has also worked for United States Congressman James Clyburn and former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin.
Sellers’ accomplishments do not go unnoticed within the Democratic Party. In 2008, he served on President Barack Obama’s South Carolina steering committee. His ability to “reach across the aisle to get things done” has led to numerous achievements, including being named TIME Magazine’s 40 Under 40; “The Root 100” list of the nation’s most influential African-Americans in 2015; and ?HBCU Top 30 Under 30 in July 2014.
Sellers has served as a featured speaker at various political events, universities, and national trade organizations across the country, such as the 2008 and 2016 Democratic National Convention.
Sellers recently released “My Vanishing Country: A Memoir,” a New York Times Best Seller?. The book has been described as part memoir, part historical and cultural analysis illustrating the lives of America’s forgotten Black working-class men and women. He has also expanded his audience with the ?Bakari Sellers Podcast, a? twice-a-week show that is part of The Ringer Podcast Network. Episodes feature a variety of topics, including politics, race, sports, media and more.
Sellers is married to Dr. Ellen Rucker-Sellers and father to twins Sadie and Stokely.