Thursday, February 03, 2011
The SC State University Chapter of the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice (NABCJ) will hold its 2011 Black History Month Program on Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011 at 5:30 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center’s Dr. Barbara A. Vaughan Recital Hall, located on the campus of SC State University. Focusing on the theme, “Reclaiming Our Heritage,” this year’s program has been designed to celebrate the heritage of African-Americans through speech, song, poetry and dance. The speaker of the event is Kelvin Washington, U.S. Marshal for the District of South Carolina.
“The keynote speaker is a historical figure in his own right, when in 1999, he became the youngest African- American to be elected sheriff in South Carolina,” says Giselle White-Perry, NABCJ chapter advisor and assistant professor of criminal justice. “We hope students will leave the program realizing that history is being made every day; it is not limited to what happened in the distant past. We all have something to contribute,” she says.
Washington was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as the United States Marshal for the District of South Carolina and was sworn in on March 31, 2010. Washington began his law enforcement career with the city of Florence Police Department in 1990. While there, he served as a patrolman, narcotics agent and an investigator. In 1993, he joined the Williamsburg County Sheriff’s Office as the chief investigator and was later promoted to chief deputy. In 1998, Washington was appointed as interim sheriff, and in January 1999 was elected sheriff of Williamsburg County. This election victory became South Carolina history. He had become the youngest African-American to be elected sheriff in South Carolina. He was successfully re-elected in 2000, 2004 and 2008.
A native of Hemingway, S.C., Washington is a graduate of Hemingway High School, attended SC State University, and graduated from American Intercontinental University with a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice. He obtained his Master of Science degree in criminal justice from Troy University in Troy, Ala. His other education credentials were received from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy, the FBI-sponsored Carolina Command College, the FBI-sponsored Law Enforcement Executive Development School, the University of Arkansas’ Rural Executive Management Institute and the National Sheriff’s Institute.
Washington has always believed in service before self and has made enormous contributions to his community. He is an active member of the Kingstree Rotary Club, Palmetto State Law Enforcement Officers’ Association and the South Carolina Sheriff’s Association, where he once served as president. He has served as a board member for the Williamsburg County Boys and Girls Club and Williamsburg County Vital Aging. Washington has also served as a part-time professor at Horry-Georgetown Technical College and Charleston Southern University in their criminal justice departments.