South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley was honored Oct. 1, by the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations for her leadership in removing the Confederate flag from the South Carolina state capitol building grounds this summer.
The award was given at a dinner ceremony by Harvard Foundation Director S. Allen Counter at Winthrop House in Harvard College, Cambridge, Mass.
In her speech, Haley talked of a “New South” that was tackling historical problems of racial and economic inequality, the Harvard Crimson reported in its online edition. Haley also indicated the Republican Party was committed to solving the problems of the poor and people of color in her state. “I would not have won the Republican primary if this were a racially intolerant party,” she is quoted saying in the Crimson.
Haley is considered a “Rising Star” in the party, and her national image rose dramatically following her decision to remove the Confederate flag from statehouse grounds after the massacre of 9 black members of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. by white supremacist Dylann Roof.
Haley spoke about the difference between how South Carolinians responded to the massacre compared to the violence that ensued in Ferguson, Missouri and Baltimore, Maryland, after killings of unarmed blacks at the hands of police there. The uprisings, she said, hurt black people already facing police violence whereas in South Carolina people came together to mourn the loss of life.