Former South Carolina senator discusses his path to politics
Bakari Sellers gave advice to students about political engagement on campus and careers in government.
When Bakari Sellers won the South Carolina Senate race of 2006, he made history for being the youngest Black elected official in the country, according to the Boston-Wide Israel Speakers Series page on Facebook. Since leaving office in 2014, Sellers has become a New York Times bestselling author, makes regular appearances on CNN and is the host of The Bakari Sellers Podcast. The Brandeis Israel Public Affairs Committee and the Boston-Wide Israel Speaker Series hosted “A Conversation with Bakari Sellers” on Sunday, Nov. 15.
During the discussion, moderated by Gabriella Lieberman ’23, Sellers spoke on a range of topics ranging from how students can get politically involved on campus to his vision for the future. When asked about how he got involved in government, he posed the question, “if not me then who; if not now, when?” to the students from Brandeis University, Harvard University, Northeastern University and Clark University who were attending the event on Zoom. Sellers also urged students to listen to as many viewpoints as possible and get involved with their local governments.
In regards to the U.S.-Israeli relationship under a Biden presidency, Sellers said that he does not believe that there will be significant changes to the existing policy, citing the advancements that the Obama administration made, including conversations between Israel and its surrounding Arab nations.
In response to a question about who he thought the next rising star in politics would be, Sellers jokingly responded, “When do I get there?”He added that the concept of a “rising star” is relative based on who people ask. Finally, Sellers encouraged students to follow their passions and to be prepared when having conversations in order to be the most successful in their future endeavors.
The event was co-sponsored by Brandeis Hillel, Israel Summit at Harvard, Pro-Israel Cadre at Clark University, Huskies for Israel, the Brandeis Politics Department, The Schusterman Center for Israel Studies and Israel Campus Roundtable.