Illinois congressman, UAPB grad slated as commencement speaker


U.S. Congressman Danny K. Davis (D-Ill.), a native Arkansan and graduate of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, will be the keynote speaker for UAPB’s 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 13, commencement exercises in the H.O. Clemmons arena of the Kenneth L. Johnson Sr. Health, Physical Education and Recreation Complex.

Davis was born in Parkdale in 1941 and has been an Illinois resident since 1961 after he earned a bachelor of arts degree from UAPB (then Arkansas Agricultural, Mechanical and Normal College). He subsequently earned master’s and doctorate degrees from Chicago State University and Cincinnati’s Union Institute.

Currently in his third term as the representative of Illinois’ 7th Congressional District, Davis was first elected in 1996.

Prior to entering Congress, Davis was a professional educator and health administrator and was also noted for his efforts as a community organizer and civil rights advocate.

He has traveled throughout the world.

A member of the Congressional Black, Progressive, Urban, Community Health Centers and Sugar caucuses, Davis is a member of the Oversight and Government Reform, and Ways and Means committees and the Economic Growth, Job Creation, Regulatory Affairs, Energy Policy, Oversight, Health Care and Entitlements and Human Resources subcommittees.

He rates job creation, poverty, health care, education, criminal justice reform and youth development as his primary focuses as an elected leader.

Davis hosts several weekly television and radio shows featuring public participation, and regularly produces written reports to his constituents.