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Community Involvement

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.

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 Motivators

Career Motivators created Project GROWL (Getting Ready for your Opportunity to Work, Laugh, and Learn) to help Midlands high school students secure and retain their first jobs. A job is the first rung on the ladder of being engaged in society. A young person's perception of the working world is formed during his or her first job. Twenty-four Richland County School District Two students received training in the application process and the opportunity to talk directly to hiring managers.

Catalytics

Ca•ta•lyst \ˈka-tə-ləst\ : an agent that provokes or speeds significant change or action.

Recently for Project Upstate Together, a project of the Greenville Chamber of Commerce, 133 upstate leaders were asked, “What explains the relative weakness of the Upstate economy?” Eighty-five percent said, “Low levels of aspiration among Upstate young people for post-secondary education.”

CDs

Recognizing the existing language barrier and lack of bilingual services available, the goal of the CDs was to suggest a more streamlined process of performing daily operations at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Members of this group completed case studies concerning the needs of those individuals that come to the DMV and do not speak English.

CHAMPS

CHAMPS "Columbians Highlighting Advancing Millennial Professionals Symposium”

The group’s idea is to introduce and engage young professionals (the "millennials") in exposure to diversity at work, as there is a definite need for diversity training and exposure with this particular age group who are just starting out in their careers. 

Change Agents

The Change Agents sought a way to help individuals who have been disenfranchised by homelessness and/or mental illness.  Partnering with the Triune Mercy Center—an agency actively involved with this overlooked population—group members developed a landscaping project in conjunction with the existing Triune renovation.

Charleston Undertold History Map

The Charleston Undertold History Map team aims to create African-American history walking and driving tours that highlight many of the lesser-known facts about civil rights in the area. The project will unfold in five phases, including paper maps, physical markers denoting such places of interest as former lunch counters and slave import center Gadsden’s Wharf, an interactive map, school curriculum, and an app. Development funding sources for all of these projects are still under consideration, but the mayor’s office is likely to prove helpful in the coming months.