In honor of Black History Month, I want to recognize some of the conservative black leaders who are greatly contributing to our culture, society and our country. These men and women have been highly influential in paving the way to a stronger conservative and a more civil nation.
I have had the honor to meet many of them, and I am certain that their work has impacted our nation more than many of us realize. For each of these leaders, their influence is still actively impacting our communities, our government and the next generation of leaders towards a stronger, more unified future.
Each one brings a fresh voice to our culture, a clear vision to our democracy and is reshaping what it means to be a conservative. Each of these individuals embraces civility in their opinions while carrying certainty in each of their efforts.
Here are four black conservative leaders you will want to follow:
- Tim Scott: The only black senator in the GOP, President Donald Trump recognized Scott during his recent State of the Union Address, thanking him for his contribution in spearheading legislation which increased the number of jobs and investments in 9,000 previously neglected and lower-income neighborhoods. But further, Scott is often recognized for his character of great civility amid determination. Known never to back down from issues that matter to him (some he has brought right into the Oval Office), Scott recognizes that everyone does not always see eye to eye. Scott embodies patience and diplomatic character in nature — something all of our government could use more of.
- Condoleezza Rice: The first black female U.S. Secretary of State, Rice has been incredibly instrumental in mending and protecting the U.S. during some of our nation's most trying times. When I first met Rice and heard her speak, I was struck by her passion and care for others. In recent years she has also had a large impact on the NCAA following its basketball recruiting scandal in 2017. When news broke of the corruption, the association turned to Rice to join as the Commission on College Basketball chair specifically to care for the future of its players. Her position continues to ensure the future of so many student athletes in the association. Rice's accomplishments have also impacted education as she has held several prominent roles in academics. This year Rice was announced to assume the position of director for Stanford University's 100-year-old public policy research center, Hoover Institution, a position she will assume on September 1.
- Will Hurd: Hurd is an American politician and former CIA officer serving as the U.S. representative for Texas's 23rd congressional district since 2015. As the only black Republican in the House of Representatives in the 116th Congress, Hurd is one of seven in the House since the 1930s. During a snowstorm in 2017, Hurd and then-Texas Congressman Beto O'Rourke were stuck in San Antonio and needed to get back to Washington for a House vote. With nearly all the flights canceled, Hurd and O'Rourke rented a car and journeyed the 1,600-mile drive to Washington, capturing their drive on Facebook Live. For their show of bipartisanship, the two received the Allegheny College 2018 Prize for Civility in Public Life. Hurd embodies an eagerness and civility to work alongside other parties (rather than against). Such bipartisanship is certain to influence our nation's future.
- Ben Carson: As a neurosurgeon who first inspired generations of doctors, today Carson is focused on revitalizing communities and ending homelessness among youth. Having the pleasure to meet and speak with him, I can personally say his passion and convictions are profound. From his transition into politics, running for president in the 2016 presidential election, Carson stepped out in a fresh new landscape of opportunity where he was quickly criticized (as most candidates are.) But he continues to use his platform to serve others. As the Housing and Urban Development Secretary, Carson has launched the Foster Youth to Independence (FYI) initiative which is working to put an end to homelessness among foster youth. From saving lives as a neurosurgeon to now working to create a hopeful future for homeless youth, the unique route Carson has taken has been a prime example of servant leadership.
I believe these are individuals who have and currently are influencing the preservation of our traditional American values. Their example shows how we can instill such conservative views while working to build bipartisanship. Whether their names are often noted on headlines or not, their concentrated efforts and passion for our society are greatly shaping our future.
Dr. Kent Ingle serves as the President of Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida, and is the author of "Framework Leadership." A champion of innovative educational design, Ingle is the president of one of the fastest growing private universities in the nation. As president, Ingle founded the American Center for Political Leadership at the university and is also a founding member of the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration. Before becoming Southeastern’s president in 2011, Ingle held leadership positions in higher education and the nonprofit sector in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Seattle. Ingle is the author of several leadership books and the creator of the Framework Leadership podcast. He currently serves on the board of the Florida Chamber of Commerce Foundation. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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