By Paul Gable
We’ve all heard the old saying ‘you can’t go home again.’ Gloria Bromell Tinubu not only has come home, but she intends to make home bigger, better and more fruitful as a candidate for the Democratic nomination for the new 7th Congressional District seat.
“I came to South Carolina in August for a visit and decided to come back home,” said Bromell Tinubu. “I talked to some people and the subject turned to politics. The more I talked to people, the more excited I became. I decided in December to run for the open seat because I felt in my heart that it was something I was supposed to do.”
An applied economist, educator, and public servant, Tinubu has 34 years of experience as an economist and community leader.
Bromell Tinubu grew up in Plantersville, S.C. Her parents did not have a high school education, but they were determined that their children would receive the education they did not.
Bromell Tinubu graduated from Choppee High School in 1971. She was class president and salutatorian. After attending the University of South Carolina for one year, Bromell Tinubu transferred to Howard University where she received a Bachelor’s degree with honors in Theater and Fine Arts in 1974.
She returned home to teach one year at Choppee High School before going to Clemson University to pursue a Master’s degree in Agricultural Economics, which she received in 1977.
“I wanted to to address the problems associated with clouded title property known as heirs property, which is a problem that continues to plague poor, rural communities to this day,” said Bromell Tinubu.
Her study was the first scientific documentation and measurement of the problem in South Carolina. The findings were published in Progressive Farmer (1978), carried by many local newspapers throughout the state, and submitted to the South Carolina Legislature.
In 1976, while studying for her Master’s, Bromell Tinubu married Soji Tinubu, a Nigerian-born U.S. citizen who is also a graduate of Clemson University with a Master’s degree in civil engineering. She and her husband resided in Atlanta where Bromell Tinubu went to work for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
Her job led to an interest in public water systems. Bromell Tinubu returned to Clemson where she earned a Ph.D. in Applied Economics in 1986. Her studies included conducting research on the financial stability of South Carolina’s public water systems.
“Applied economics uses the tools of theoretical economics to solve real world problems,” said Bromell Tinubu.
Bromell Tinubu joined the faculty of Spelman College in Atlanta in 1986 as a professor of Economics. She earned tenure in 1992 and served as chair of the Economics department. She also found time to be elected to the Atlanta City Council as well as work on community economic development programs in the city.
“I balanced my time as a wife, mother, professor and member of the city council,” said Bromell Tinubu. “I believe as citizens we can’t let things stop us from being engaged in government. If we don’t offer ourselves for office, we get stuck with what we deserve.”
Bromell Tinubu served one year as President of Barber-Scotia College in Concord, N.C. before returning to Atlanta in 2006. She also represented House District 60 in the Georgia State legislature.
She has received numerous honors and awards for her community and public service. She has been listed among Who’s Who in Black Atlanta (2001, 2003), Atlanta Business League’s 100 Most Influential Black Women (1996, 1997, 2001, 2002, 2003), Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Most Influential Georgians (2001), and Essence Magazine’s 25 Women Who are Shaping the World (2005). She receivedSpelmanCollege’s Fannie Lou Hamer Community Service Award (1998) and the college’s Community Service and Public Policy Award (2000). She is also a recipient of the Winnie Mandela Humanitarian Award for Public Service (2001).
Bromell Tinubu said she looks forward to offering solutions for the problems that currently exist in the new 7th District. She said she would use her experience in the private, non-profit and public sectors of the economy to incentivize job creation.
“Seven of the counties in the district are among the most persistently poor in the state with many unemployed and underemployed workers,” she said. “I believe we can find creative ways to help small scale businesses within the district expand and grow while providing economic security for our citizens and reducing poverty.”