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Community Involvement

The Sixth Sense

Upstate Diversity Connections was formed to provide a forum for sustaining the enthusiasm and expertise of the Riley Institute Diversity Leaders Initiative graduates once they have completed their formal diversity course requirements. The inaugural event was held November 28th, 2007, at Michelin. Former Secretary of Education Dick Riley and several local leaders spoke about their experiences in diversity management. Brock Koonce and Greenville Forward have agreed to sustain the effort and to host all subsequent events.

The Stand Outs, "Speak Up, Stand Out" Project

“Speak Up, Stand Out” is a grassroots campaign encouraging peer-to-peer awareness and support to combat bullying among youths.  In partnership with Boys and Girls Club of the Midlands, “Speak Up, Stand Out” involves the submission of short, personal stories from youth for youth to be provided in a web-based format with a process for the identification of three “winners” to receive cash prizes for their submission.  By choosing to “speak up,” these youth who offer their personal stories to their peers have the opportunity to &ldquo

Through Our Eyes

The conversations that took place during the Spring 2014 Upstate DLI class were profound and impactful for this group, and created a desire to initiate similar, age-appropriate opportunities for the youth in the community. Through the 2014 IGNITE Summer Arts Camp, an annual camp offered by The Children’s Museum of the Upstate and the South Carolina Governor’s School for rising 7th and 8th graders throughout the state, the Through Our Eyes team had the opportunity to provide a unique experience.

Tool Cultivators

Project Name: Community Toolshed

Project Concept: Tool Library in partnership with Gardening for Good

Problem: Need for gardening tools for volunteer days and for community members wanting to start and maintain community gardens. There are about 80 known community gardens in Greenville County.

Solution: A tool library located in Greenville County that would house tools that can be checked out and borrowed.

Touch A Truck for Autism

Loud sirens, big trucks, and unusual looking uniforms can create a scary and confusing situation for someone with autism. As a result, first responders, families and individuals with autism face a challenge and potential risk, when an emergency occurs. The Touch a Truck for Autism team united to provide an experience where individuals with autism can become familiar with our first responders, their uniforms, trucks, sirens and other equipment.

Touchstone

Team Touchstone sought to develop a project that could advocate for homeless individuals. Thus began team Touchstone's community action project, with a mission to uncover some of the stereotypes associated with the homeless population. More importantly, Touchstone seeks to highlight the varied issues often faced by children, teens and adults who have become members of this faceless and often overlooked segment of our Upstate South Carolina community.

Trailblazers

The Mary Black Rail Trail is a multi- use trail that runs through Spartanburg County. The group plans to utilize the Mary Black Rail Trail in order to build community and celebrate diversity. The goal is to celebrate some of the positive things that are already happening in Spartanburg – successes, history and where the community is going. Thirty percent of people who use the Rail Trail are minorities. The focus will be on this area because the trail brings people of different backgrounds together.

Trail Blazers

Members of the Trail Blazers decided to analyze the connection between poverty and poor performance in the classroom by third and fifth graders. Through their research, they presented striking evidence that there is a direct relationship between the two. They also showed that the opportunity for impact to be made on this disparity closes rapidly between the third and fifth grade.

Turning Leaf Community Impact Art Project

The Turning Leaf Project (TLP) is a program aimed in reducing recidivism amongst high risk inmates’ by helping them transition positively back into their community through the use of cognitive behavior therapy. TLP has been in search of a way to bring together current inmates participating in the program with previous victims of crime in a positive setting that promotes positive, genuine interaction.

2025 Diversity Road

Members of the 2025 Diversity Road team focused on initiating discussions among elected city and county officials about community relations in terms of diversity. Members used a model community in terms of race, age, and gender. In studying a workforce composition, members found a disparity of minorities in the work force compared to their population percentages. Members also focused on community tensions that might present a problem when looking at population and diversity.