Mignon Clyburn | SC African American History Calendar


You should love what
you’re doing. Whatever your profession or your
interest is, it should allow you to grow at the
things that you’re good at. It doesn’t always work
in the sequence, in the way and the time frame
that you think it might. You might have to do some
certain things in the mean time. But always
develop and appreciate that gift that you were
given. That thing that you excel. Never let that go. Mignon Clyburn has earned acclaim for her devoted career in the field of telecommunications. Clyburn is the eldest daughter of South Carolina congressman James Clyburn. After graduating from the University of South
Carolina with a bachelor’s degree in
banking, finance and economics, Clyburn made
history when she became the first woman head of
the Federal Communications Commission.
She was appointed as acting chair by president
Barack Obama in May 2013. When I
got the call from the White House that I
would be appointed interim chair of the F.C.C.
because the previous chair resigned, the first
thing I did was say yes. The second thing I did
after I hung up the phone was to scream. It was an
incredible opportunity. I would be the first female
to be afforded the opportunity to lead the
FCC which again is one of the most powerful
agencies in the entire world. because the market
for America, the United States, its
telecommunications market is one of the most
significant, if not the most significant in the
world. And to be at the opportunity to lead that
agency is a powerful awesome
opportunity. And I was excited not so much for
me but about really challenging some very
significant preconceived notions that I think
we’re are negative. There were a lot of
people who did not think a woman can lead
effectively. There were a number of people who did
not feel that an African American woman could lead
effectively. So one of the things that
I was aware of that I kept in the back of my
mind the entire time was to not only to prove them
wrong, but to affirm my value and my worth. I knew
I could do it. I knew it did not require a law
degree to do it, because most of the previous
chairs were attorneys. So I knew that to be
effective was to be ready to study and to be
compassionate and show that you care
about the people you work for and you care about
the issues that you’re responsible for upholding.
From July 2009 until June 2018, Clyburn committed herself to
reducing the digital and opportunity divides which
challenged minority and low income communities. Clyburn pushed for the modernization of the FCC’s lifeline program, which made voice and
broadband services more easily accessible for low
income consumers. There is a program at the FCC
called the lifeline program, which is a direct
subsidy that provides $9.95 per month per household to bring down to help with the cost of telecommunications
services to include voice and broadband services in
this country. The FCC has encouraged public,
private partnerships that would enable Internet
service providers to have programs that would bring
the cost of broadband services down for
individuals in this country. So one of the
things that the FCC has been attempting to do for
a number of years is bring the cost down,
have direct subsidies and monies go to these
companies that provide communication services.
And with that it is our hope, it is our nation’s
hope that broadband access will be more
widespread, that more communities will get the
facilities and infrastructure needed to
provide those services in these communities and
that when they do so on a broader scale, that the
cost per service for individual households and
individuals will be lower, making a broadband
available for more people and for every student
in South Carolina. With Clyburn’s devoted
service in the telecommunications
industry, along with her active involvement in a
myriad of community organizations, she has
undoubtedly earned her spot on the South
Carolina African American history calendar. Learn more about the South Carolina African American calendar’s current and past honorees at www.SCAfricanAmerican.com

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