Bud Ferillo, producer and director of the award-winning 2005 “Corridor of Shame” documentary about South Carolina’s poorest schools, will be the guest speaker for the Camden-Kershaw County Branch of the NAACP’s annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration at 5:30 p.m. Jan 18 in the Camden High School Auditorium, 1022 Ehrenclou Drive, Camden.
Ferillo also had careers in state government and leadership on behalf of civil rights and education.
In 1970, at age 24, he managed Congressman Jim Clyburn’s first political campaign and -- in the same year -- led the floor fight to delete a school segregation plank from the state Democratic Party’s platform at its state convention. Historian Jack Bass called it the “high water mark of segregationist politics in the South Carolina Democratic Party.”
Ferillo served as chief of staff to two speakers of the house and a deputy lieutenant governor in Gov. Dick Riley’s second administration, helping to draft and pass the Education Improvement Act.
“Corridor of Shame” won six national awards for documentary film making and international attention to the problems of education among South Carolina’s poorest school districts. In 2007, Ferillo served on the state steering committee for then U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, accompaying the sentator on seven visits to the state’s poorest school districts. He was a delegate pledged to Obama at both the 2008 and 2012 Democratic National Conventions and attended both Obama inaugurations.
A Vietnam veteran, senior member of the S.C. Arts Commission, former state public official, life member of the NAACP and tireless advocate for civil rights and racial reconciliation, Ferillo is never on the sidelines. He can always be found in the front ranks of civic engagement and visionary leadership in South Carolina.
Today, he is coordinator of the S.C. Collaborative for Racial Reconciliation, based at the University of South Carolina.