SC Association for Community Economic Development announces Charles Blow, NYT Bestselling Author, Columnist, & MSNBC Analyst as a keynote speaker at 25th annual conference

June 10, 2024

South Carolina Association for Community Economic Development (SCACED) announced Charles Blow, New York Times Bestselling Author and Columnist, Analyst at MSNBC, as a keynote speaker for its annual conference, Opportunity SC: 2024. The 25th annual conference celebrates SCACED’s 30th Anniversary and is the largest comprehensive community development convention and forum in South Carolina.

Through his books, commentary on MSNBC, and now as an Op-Ed columnist at The New York Times, Blow tackles today’s most pressing issues with depth, nuance, and tremendous insight. Blow is the New York Times bestselling author of Fire Shut Up in My Bones, which won a Lambda Literary Award, the Sperber Prize, and appeared on numerous “best of” lists. His second book, The Devil You Know: A Black Power Manifesto, draws on both his personal experience and observations of society to call for an end to systemic racism. Blow previously served as Graphics Director at New York Time, leading the paper to significant awards, and also worked as the Art Director of National Geographic Magazine and for The Detroit News. Blow is a prolific and insightful commentator on politics, public opinion, and social justice, often challenging those in power with clarity and candor.

Heralded for his forward-thinking coverage of American politics and society, as well as his skill in graphic design to create powerful narratives with compelling visuals, Blow is also an in-demand speaker and gifted moderator. He has appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, SalonTV, CBS News, and regularly as an analyst on MSNBC, and has been featured in The Washington Post, The Ringer, Oprah Daily.

“I am excited to serve as a keynote speaker at Opportunity SC: 2024,” said Blow. “In celebration of SCACED’s 30th Anniversary, I look forward to sharing my perspectives and insights to the progress made in South Carolina and the work that lies ahead in ensuring an equitable future for South Carolina.”

The conference, which will take place on October 17 & 18 in Charleston, South Carolina, will introduce attendees to integrated, innovative, and sustainable solutions for low‐wealth communities across the state and region. Over the past 25 years, the Opportunity SC Conference has welcomed more than 5,000 attendees, representing almost every county in the state.

“We are honored to have Charles Blow as a keynote speaker for Opportunity SC: 2024,” said Bernie Mazyck, President & CEO of SCACED. “His unique ideas and perspective will inspire our attendees to move forward as agents of change and create opportunities for building wealth in their communities.”

Opportunity SC: 2024 is open to anyone interested in community development, including nonprofit leaders, government officials, bankers, developers, foundations and community leaders.


About SCACED (

SCACED is a coalition of more than 200 partners and organizations who support the development of healthy and economically sustainable communities throughout South Carolina. For over 25 years, SCACED and its members have worked collaboratively to build wealth and create economic opportunity for all SC residents including a focus on minority communities and other groups who have been left out of the economic mainstream. Learn more about SCACED here.