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Community Involvement

Bridge Builders (Upstate Diversity Forum)

Upstate Diversity Forum – Building Inclusive Organizations and Communities Discussions about diversity are occurring in small silos in limited industries and community organizations. Bridge Builders created the Upstate Diversity Forum to provide an opportunity for diversity leaders from private corporations, non-profit groups, and government organizations across all industries and areas of interest to discuss diversity and inclusion progress and challenges within their respective entities and the community.

Bridges to Success

While there is a variety of well-established interventions and programs for families living in poverty, many parents lack the individual support needed to change their economic circumstances. Bridges to Success is partnering with the Upstate Fatherhood Coalition and the Greenville Literacy Association to address obstacles commonly faced by parents living in poverty, such as low educational attainment, unemployment, and incarceration.

The project’s goal is to combat generational poverty by creating a path for parents to become more economically secure.

Bridge to Success

Whether it is from being unemployed, incarcerated, dealing with health care costs and challenges, or struggling with financial instability, many individuals in Spartanburg County find themselves in transition and could use help to meet their most immediate needs. One basic necessity is clothing, particularly clothes and coats for cold weather, business clothes for job interviews, and shoes.

Broad Bandits

Broadband usage, access and affordability is increasingly becoming a hurdle for some families who understand the benefits all can experience from its availability. While technology improves all areas of life, its impact on the lives of students is becoming increasingly more crucial as the need for Internet access to even do homework outside of school hours is becoming a necessity.  Access is also crucial in law enforcement, emergency medical situations and other aspects of public safety.  Economic development efforts in local communities can sometimes hinge on the availability of high-speed broadband.   Seeing this need and hoping to bridge the gap and level the playing field, especially for low income families, the Broad Bandits partnered with a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, Connect South Carolina, which is a state affiliate of Connected Nation. 

Building Bridges

The team objective was to bring together and, in turn, build bridges between groups of students from two different worlds. With this passion and vision in hand, the Building Bridges team, which included Carolina High School’s principal Mr. Michael Delaney and St. Joseph Catholic School’s headmaster Mr. Keith Kiser, developed and launched this new cultural bridge program.

Calder Ehrmann Culinary Program at PW

Greenville continues to be challenged with the issue of food deserts, defined as low-income areas without a grocery store within a mile, and therefore tend to rely on fast-food restaurants or convenient stores as primary food sources In partnership with the Phillis Wheatley Association (PWA) and Greenville County, a recent DLI capstone project (PW CHOP) initiated the first phase toward developing a culinary arts program to be operated at the Phillis Wheatley Center (PWC).

Capitol Kids

Goal: Provide a diverse group of seventh-grade students with the opportunity to shadow their state representatives for a day at the State Capitol.

As a project of Furman's Riley Institute Diversity Leaders Initiative (DLI), a group of eight community leaders is piloting Capitol Kids in the Lowcountry for the 2015-2016 academic year. A statewide program, the purpose of the DLI is to raise awareness of diversity issues, engage in meaningful dialogue, and develop relationships to help move South Carolina forward.

The Capitol Improvers

The Capitol Improvers created P.R.E.P. (Preparedness Re-Entry Program) Action, a program which focuses on providing resources for ex-offender transition and systems for reconnecting the recently released ex-offender with his or her community. Group members hope to help break the endless cycle of release and re-incarceration by providing information about and access to support systems at the point of release; these support systems could meet social, economic, emotional, and spiritual needs.

C2C: Collision2Collaboration

C2C: Collision to Collaboration selected Sara Collins Elementary’s Sizzling Saturday program for its pilot.

Goal: Define, create, plan, and implement a Diversity module to be incorporated into an existing Sizzling Saturday event at Sara Collins Elementary. Based on the results of this pilot, we plan to define the Sizzling Saturday program with a Diversity module and introduce it to elementary schools in neighboring school districts working collaboratively with schools and local PTAs.

Career Academy

The Career Academy Project consists of an advisory board of leaders across various career fields with a mission to promote access for underserved youth. The advisory board will work with Kids on Point (KOP), an intense year-round afterschool and summer program. KOP engages at-risk children from the start of their education careers and beyond. The Career Academy Project focuses on “the beyond” to expose students to local businesses, like MUSC and Boeing, by creating shadowing and internship opportunities.