2013 Distinguished Speaker Carol Swain followed her dream
Posted: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 9:00 pm
Special Features Editor
Carol M. Swain understands challenges.
She has faced several of them, including starting life as one of a dozen children born into extreme rural poverty in the mid-1950s, when segregation was still very much the norm in many parts of the country.
Union City Rotary Club’s 2013 Distinguished Speaker will talk about her rocky road, which included life as a high school dropout and teenage mother, and her pursuit of the American Dream, which helped her earn her GED, plus multiple degrees in higher education, and a role as a law professor at prestigious Vanderbilt University in Nashville.
She followed that dream while relying on conservative values and a rediscovery of her Christian roots in midlife. And it is in that effort that she has faced some of her greatest challenges.
Dr. Swain is the author of several books, including the highly acclaimed “Black Faces, Black Interests: The Representation of African Americans in Congress.” That publication was named one of seven Outstanding Academic Books of 1994 by the American Library Association and won the D.B. Hardeman Prize for best book focused on the U.S. Congress from 1994-95 and the V.O. Kay Award for an outstanding book on Southern politics. It also claimed the Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award in 1994 as the best book published on government, politics or international affairs.
The book has also been cited by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy and former Justice Sandra Day O’Connor in cases before that body.
Her opinion pieces have been published in The Huffington Post, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times and USA Today.
She has been a guest on BBC Radio, NPR, CNN’s AC360 with Anderson Cooper, Fox News Live, PBS’s NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, C-SPAN’s Washington Journal and ABC’s Headline News because of her expertise in race relations, immigration, black leadership and evangelical politics.
She has served on the Tennessee Advisory Committee to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission and is a member of the National Endowment for the Humanities Council.
Before moving to Nashville and becoming part of the Vanderbilt faculty, she was a tenured associate professor of politics and public policy at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. She is also a foundation member of the Virginia Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.
Dr. Swain will also talk about her passion for empowering others to confidently raise their conservative voices in the public square when she addresses those attending the Speaker’s event March 21 at the Hampton Centré in Union City. Tickets are on sale at Lanzer’s Printing and Office Supply in downtown Union City for $125. Members of the Rotary Club Speaker’s Committee, including John Warner, Steve Conley, Terry Petty, Clint Joiner, Chuck Doss, Gary Houston and Clay Woods, will also be selling them.
Those who would like to meet this committed Christian Conservative are invited to arrive at 6 p.m. for a social hour, with the meal to begin at 7 and the program at 8.
The African American academic and patriot, who has strong concerns about the direction her beloved country is moving in, will also address students at Union City High School March 22. Prior to her visit, students in the UCHS AP American History class will be reading her book “Be the People: A Call to Reclaim America’s Faith and Promise.” Other students are also welcome to read the book in preparation for her visit, a spokesman said, and copies will be available at Walmart in Union City or at area bookstores, from Amazon and in Kindle and similar reader format.
“Be the People” is a courageous, carefully researched, comprehensive, insightful, and timely gift to the American people,” says the Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, founder and president of Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny and national radio talk show host. “Dr. Carol Swain ... writes the sober conviction of one who well understands the risks of speaking up but who has also measured them as carrying far less weight than the risk of silence or compromise. God bless her.”
Lou Dobbs, nationally syndicated radio host and financial authority, has praised Dr. Swain as one who has thoughtfully examined “the biblical roots and religious significance of today’s pressing issues. Professor Swain shows how to make your voice heard and how to reclaim America’s faith and values.”
Dr. Swain acknowledges that when biblical truths conflict with cultural norms, too many people shy away, something she was warned about by fellow academician and Christian Conservative Mary Poplin of Claremont Graduate University, but she says publishing a book like “Be the People” is worth the risk because America is a nation well worth restoring.
The community is invited to hear her discuss the problems America faces and the solutions that are available.
Published in The Messenger 2.13.13