The South Carolina Democratic Party James E. Clyburn Political Fellowship (Clyburn Fellowship) offers leadership, policy, and campaign training to young professionals living in South Carolina. The Clyburn Fellowship was created to develop and train the next generation of Democratic leaders.
Over the course of the Clyburn Fellowship, Fellows will meet during four two-day intensive seminars. Each session will be led by experienced and accomplished national and state facilitators. These facilitators will help participants explore the concepts and challenges of Party leadership. This includes learning proven campaign strategies and developing skills critical to winning elections. Ultimately this program shapes Fellows on their way to becoming politicians, campaign managers, fundraising directors and consultants in local, county and state party operations.
The goal of the Fellowship is to develop the next generation of leadership and talent in the South Carolina Democratic Party. At the conclusion of the program, each Fellow will be equipped to work in the field of politics that best suits their aspirations. They will have abilities vital not only to winning offices but governing as well.
Background on James E. Clyburn
The Fellowship is named after one of the most successful Congressmen in the history of the South Carolina Democratic Party. James E. Clyburn is the Assistant Democratic Leader in the United States House of Representatives. Previously, Clyburn served as Assistant Democratic Leader from 2011 to 2018 and as House Majority Whip from 2019 to 2022 and 2007 to 2010. He was the House Democratic Caucus Chair and Vice Chair, as well as Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. In 1993, Clyburn became the first African-American from South Carolina to serve in Congress since Reconstruction. Before becoming a member of Congress, Clyburn was extremely active in South Carolina politics.
Fellowship Requirements and Qualifications
We’re looking for a diverse and dynamic group of men and women who are interested in running for office, running political campaigns and developing into leaders in the Democratic Party. Applications are sought from individuals who are interested in enhancing their leadership and political skills in order to better serve their communities, constituencies and causes.
Nominees should be residents of South Carolina, eighteen years of age or older, and be considered or have the potential to be among the top young leaders within their respective counties.
Desired Clyburn Fellows Qualifications
- Dedication to the values of the Democratic Party
- Interest in running for or helping others achieve public office
- Desire to participate in the political process and to strengthen leadership skills
- Experience in local community activities and electoral politics
- Ability to excite and expand the Democratic base
- Willingness to learn and explore different points of view
The curriculum for the training sessions will include discussions of the following:
- Examining the challenges of leadership and qualities of leadership necessary to master the forces of change;
- Exploring various political case studies related to topics like political ethics;
- Developing a winning strategy and executing a successful campaign;
- Recruiting and managing staff and volunteers;
- Creating and communicating messages that educate and motivate others into action;
- Running a local party apparatus;
- Building a fundraising program and raising the necessary funds to win;
- Understanding the balance of a field versus media strategy in today’s campaigns; and
- Utilizing data, social media, and the latest technology to win elections.
The application deadline for the 2024 Clyburn Fellowship class is Friday January 19th at 6 PM.
2024 Clyburn Fellows Session Dates
February 24th and 25th
March 23rd and 24th
April 27th and 28th
June 1st and 2nd
Becoming a Clyburn Fellow is a substantial time commitment. Participants are expected to attend all four weekend sessions and to fully participate in order to receive a certificate of completion. If your schedule will not permit attending all four sessions in person, please delay your application until you are able to make this time commitment.