RNC Chairman Michael Steele and Professor Eddie Glaude
February 22 at 4:30 pm in McCosh Hall 50, simulcast in McCosh 10
The Center for African American Studies at Princeton University seeks to be a convening place for thoughtful inquiry and meaningful dialog on the pressing issues of race. Our Conversation Series offers the opportunity to encounter fascinating people in an informal setting. We have talked with Harry Belafonte about the role of the arts in politics. Bishop T.D. Jakes discussed the changing role of black churches. And Majora Carter joined with us to share her views about environmental justice. In each instance, the Center's aim has been to model a form of civic conversation — a dialog that reaches beyond rigid ideological divides and exemplifies that "flood of talk" so central to genuine democratic life.
This year the Center has invited Michael Steele, the chair of the Republican National Committee, to join us in conversation. Just like Barack Obama’s, Chairman Steele’s election was historic. He is the first African American to lead the Republican Party. We want to talk with him about his vision for the nation and his understanding of race in the 21st century. So much is happening politically in our country today and Chairman Steele is at the center of the storm. We will discuss the 2010 elections, the complex intersection of race and poverty, and the role of partisanship in Washington. In addition, we want to get to know him and his story.
Our Conversation Series demonstrates the Center's commitment to modeling a form of engagement that recognizes and revels in the differences that enrich our public discussion. We believe disagreement occasions an opportunity for conversation. And we believe such conversations, reflecting Princeton’s informal motto, are 'in the nation’s service.'
Michael S. Steele was elected Chairman of the Republican National Committee on January 30, 2009. As Chairman Mr. Steele is setting a new direction for the Republican Party — actively engaging Americans in their local communities and empowering state and local Republican organizations to do the same.
A self-described "Lincoln Republican," Mr. Steele earned a place in history in 2003 when he was elected Lieutenant Governor of Maryland, becoming the first African-American elected to statewide office in the state.
An expert on political strategy and election reform, he most recently served as Chairman of GOPAC, and also held posts on the National Federal Election Reform Commission and the NAACP Blue Ribbon Commission on Election Reform.
Mr. Steele's experiences as a successful elected conservative African-American Republican and his engaging speaking style have launched him into national prominence. His first major exposure was during an appearance at the 2004 Republican National Convention. Since then, President George W. Bush selected Steele to be part of the U.S. delegation to the investiture of Pope Benedict XVI, and a member of the Presidential Delegation to the Leon H. Sullivan Summit VIII in Tanzania.
Mr. Steele's ability as a communicator and political analyst have been showcased through his roles as a contributor on the Fox News Channel and regular host of the Salem Radio Network's nationally syndicated Morning in America Show. Additionally, Mr. Steele is an entertaining and eloquent guest on cable political talk shows such as HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher and Comedy Central's The Colbert Report.
A corporate finance attorney, Mr. Steele founded his own company, The Steele Group, a business and legal consulting firm. His writings on law, business and politics have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times, Politico.com, Townhall.com, and The Journal of International Security Affairs, among others.
Born in 1958 at Andrews Air Force Base in Prince George's County, Maryland, Mr. Steele was raised in Washington, DC. He spent three years as a seminarian in the Order of St. Augustine in preparation for the priesthood, but, ultimately, chose a career in law instead. He earned his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 1991.
Eddie S. Glaude, Jr. is currently the Chair of the Center for African American Studies and the William S. Tod Professor of Religion and African American Studies at Princeton University. He is also a Senior Fellow at The Jamestown Project at Harvard University. Widely regarded as one of the brightest young intellectuals in the US today, Glaude offers a critical and insightful view on the problems currently facing black America as well as the nation at large. He is the author of several books. His latest award winning book, In a Shade of Blue: Pragmatism and the Politics of Black America, has been characterized as a tour de force — establishing him as "one of the most visionary thinkers of our time." According to Cornel West, "Eddie Glaude is the towering intellectual of his generation. There is simply no one else like him emerging on the intellectual scene!"
Born on the coast of Mississippi, in a small town called Moss Point, Glaude brings to his scholarship and public service a sense of passion and vocation shaped by the tradition of African American struggle. As a graduate of Morehouse College, he was inspired by the courage and devotion of Martin Luther King, Jr., the institution’s most famous graduate. Currently, Glaude is a regular commentator on the Tavis Smiley Show From PRI. He has been a guest on radio shows ranging from The Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC to Mildred Gaddis’s show, Inside Detroit. Glaude has also appeared on Hannity and Colmes as well as Tavis Smiley on PBS. With each appearance, Glaude seeks to prod and to provoke, to insist and to incite, to encourage and to embolden fellow citizens to rise to the profound challenges of our day.