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Ambassador of human rights to headline MLK celebration at FMU, Jan. 12

FLORENCE - Francis Marion University and the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce will host the 13th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, Thursday, Jan. 12. 

The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the McNair Science Building’s Chapman Auditorium. Admission is free and the event is open to the public. The keynote speaker for this event is Jesse Washington Jr., South Carolina’s retired 4th Commissioner of the South Carolina Human Affairs Commission.

Washington served as the chief executive officer of the Commission and secretary to the statewide 15 member Board of Commissioners. He directed the day-to-day operations of the Commission regarding policy development, fiscal affairs, human resource management, legal affairs, complaint investigation and resolution, community relations, fair employment programs, and fair housing programs; represent the agency before legislative and congressional hearings, panels, and organizations; and serve on panels and committees to formulate solutions to problems related to human rights.

His service as the Commission’s director was a continuation of his long history of public service beginning in 1968 as a middle school Social Studies teacher. Washington served his country as a solider in the U.S. Army and is a Viet Nam War Veteran. In 1974, he began his career with the S.C. Human Affairs Commission as a field representative working with state agencies and the equal employment opportunity program.

Washington also served as executive director of the Greater Columbia Community Relations Council. Through his dedicated public service, Washington has been a leader in the development and implementation of many programs designed to enhance race relations both in South Carolina and nationwide. Washington, a native of Rembert, South Carolina, earned a Bachelor of Science degree from North Carolina A & T State University and has done graduate work at the University of South Carolina. He is currently a student at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, pursuing a Master of Divinity Degree. He has a son, Jesse Washington III., and a daughter, Melissa Washington Gary.

For more information, contact Daphne Carter, FMU’s assistant dean of students, at or (843) 661-1188.


Last Published: January 12, 2012 9:27 AM
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