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Community Involvement

Group 1

Four 15-minute podcast episodes that explore the intersectionality of police use of force, race, and people with disabilities. Through this podcast we seek to bring awareness to the issue people with disabilities, specifically people of color with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families, face when dealing with law enforcement and solutions for communities in South Carolina.  The Group focused on four different segments of the issue for the podcast:

Team Toucan

Team Toucan focused efforts on Roadrunner Reading Bridge which connects residents of Lexington Medical Center’s Extended Care (“LMC-EC”) with the elementary children of Red Bank Elementary in a project that will delight both groups. The residents at LMC-EC, like all residents of nursing homes, have faced unprecedented separation from loved ones and the outside world during the pandemic. Team Toucan connects Lexington County seniors with the comfort and joy of a local elementary child’s voice.

The Harmonizers

The Harmonizers, a community action project of Furman University’s Diversity Leaders Initiative, developed a series of concert programs that are sensory friendly for children and adults who are neurodiverse.

PALS – Providing Alternatives to Leadership & Support

South Carolina’s older adult population is among the fastest growing populations in the nation. Alarmingly, approximately 10% of older adults in South Carolina are below the federal poverty level. Previous research indicates severe socioeconomic stressors contribute to declines in quality of life (QOL) including physical and mental health, social functioning, and emotional well-being. Functional and cognitive limitations associated with older adults living with disabilities restrict older adults from being significant contributors in South Carolina communities.

Compass GVL: Helping the Community 1 Address at a Time

The goal of Compass GVL’s project proposal is to improve visibility for residential communities during COVID-19. There are residential neighborhoods in the community without clearly displayed address numbers on the house, mailbox, or curb. This delays the response time for first responders and other service providers during COVID-19. Compass GVL will provide the service of painting address numbers at no cost to community members. These numbers will be painted on the curbs to assist first responders and other service providers in locating residents quickly when needed.

Tiger Team

The Tiger Team focused on neighborhoods of blight in upstate South Carolina where few opportunities exist for affordable housing, steady employment, small business development, and quality-of-life essentials like fresh groceries, recreational facilities, and youth activities. The team partnered with a newly created non-profit organization, Opportunity South Carolina (OPSC), to discover tangible ways to take advantage of recently created “opportunity zone” investment incentives introduced in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

The A Team

Celebrate Diversity Activity Book

Celebrate Diversity is an eight-page activity book for elementary age youth focusing on diversity, culture, and respecting differences. Students participate in facilitator-led group discussions and dyads, followed by time to color and complete activities.

All — In

The team members of All-In worked with the Greater Columbia Community Relations Council (GCCRC), which promotes positive relationships within the community, equal opportunity and fairness for all members of the community and awareness and appreciation of cultural diversity. The GCCRC has existed for over 50 years in Columbia, but a recent survey taken showed that the community at large is not aware of the GCCRC or its significant contribution to the community.

Anderson: Bulldogs for Business

The focus of Bulldogs for Business will be on the special needs, self-contained population of students at the middle and high school level – approximately the 20-30 students who are on the ‘certificate only’ track (i.e. not eligible to earn a High School diploma). The goal is to help prepare these students for life beyond school. Bulldogs for Business will provide classes on etiquette, resume building, and plan to host job fairs that include companies where this population could work successfully.

Armonía

Armonía -- Spanish for "harmony" -- is a two-pronged project to create a music room for the homeless parishioners of Triune Mercy Center and to arrange for much-needed office space for the Hispanic American Women's Association.