Paul Bowers joined the ACLU of South Carolina in July 2023 after a career in journalism. As his colleagues fight to win in the courts, legislature, and community, he helps the ACLU-SC win in the court of public opinion.
Paul grew up attending public schools in Summerville, S.C., and studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. After working for the Daily Gamecock and freelancing for the Free Times in college, he took a job in 2011 as staff writer at the Charleston City Paper. He was twice named Journalist of the Year in the South Carolina Press Association's Weekly category and was recognized nationally by the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies. His freelance work appeared in The Guardian, New York Times, Washington Post, New Republic, Jacobin, Huffington Post, Al Jazeera America, and Paste.
In 2015 he joined The Post and Courier as an education reporter and parenting columnist. He broke news, interviewed hundreds of teachers, dug into school financing, traced the school-to-prison pipeline, and brought an intense focus on racial and class inequities in K-12 schools. He was named the top education reporter and opinion columnist by the South Carolina Press Association. In 2018 he was part of a team of reporters who produced "Minimally Adequate," a series of articles showing how the state's political leaders have denied Black, rural, and poor South Carolina students their constitutional right to a "minimally adequate" education. The series won the Eddie Prize from the Education Writers Association.
Paul left the news industry in 2019 and worked for 4 years as a technical writer. During that time, he took a more direct role in local activism, joining efforts to raise teacher salaries, fight the expansion of mass surveillance, defend the free expression of students and teachers, and protect renters from eviction during the COVID-19 pandemic. He volunteered for two terms as communications secretary for the Charleston Democratic Socialists of America. He also published a weekly newsletter called Brutal South.
Paul lives in North Charleston with his wife and three children. When he's not working, he enjoys running, making music with friends, and building Legos with his kids. He considers it an honor to fight for the future of South Carolina.