Skip to Content

Community Projects

REAP: Reading Enrichment from Away Parents

The REAP team mission is based on a program called “Books Beyond” that was established at the Rhode Island Department of Corrections. The program aims to strengthen the bond between children and their incarcerated parents through books. The REAP program is carried out in three simple steps: first, volunteers work with inmates to choose collected, donated, or purchased books that they would like to share with their children. Second, those books are then read and recorded onto a recording device.

Reclaimed

The Reclaimed capstone project aims to work alongside Soteria Community Development Corporation, headed by DLI alum Jerry Blassingame, and particularly the program of Soteria at Work (SaW). SaW provides opportunities for previously incarcerated and low-income citizens to learn and apply job skills, earn money, and improve long-term job prospects by offering deconstruction and reclamation services. SaW dismantles condemned structures and reclaims and repurposes the materials for furniture, art, and architectural salvage for hotels, restaurants, builders, businesses, and homeowners.

R3: Release, Restart, Restore

There are many challenges that immediately face our community members released from incarceration. These challenges are not only basic needs such as food, shelter, and safety, but also include those of inclusivity and dignity. Through a collaboration with Furman University’s Diversity Leadership Initiative along with Greenville Technical College and the Phillis Wheatley Community Center, the R3 team will provide released individuals in Greenville County with a backpack full of essential daily items to meet some of those challenges.

Rhythm of Inclusion by T Rex and the Upbeats

Disability affects more than 61 million people in the United States. Disability inclusion challenges all of us to understand fully the relationship between the way people function and how they participate in society. The goal is to make sure that everyone has the same opportunities to participate in all aspects of life including social, health, and recreational activities.

Road Runners

The Road Runners' project was to create a resource guide for newly-arrived immigrants that explains and presents the key customs, services and expectations of the Upstate community that would help ease the integration process. The Road Runners recognized that there were both explicit and implicit challenges integrated into the Upstate culture making it difficult for immigrants to integrate.

Safe Water Initiative at Metanoia (SWIM)

Background

Children ages 1 – 4 have the highest likelihood of drowning across the US generally and in SC (CDC, 2018; CDC, 2016; CSN, 2015). Of all major injuries and deaths among children, drowning was tied with homicide as the number one cause of death in South Carolina1 children ages 1-4 at 36 of every 100,000 children (CSN 2015). Additionally, it is the number three cause of death among South Carolina children ages 5 – 14 at between 15 and 24 per 100,000, and the number five cause of death among children ages 15 – 19 at 38 per 100,000. Deaths tend to be higher in coastal communities – a phenomenon that is not confined just to the US. A number of US and international studies have shown that drowning prevalence is higher in coastal communities (Morgan, Smith, & Triggs, 2008; Franklin, Scarr & Pearn, 2010; Brenner et al, 2001). 

Second Chancers

The Second Chancers project is working with a local task force to improve opportunities and recidivism rates for reentering citizens (the ex-offender population). High recidivism rates is a national problem that impacts all areas of our society, from local families to our national economy.  Here in South Carolina there are approximately 1.1 million adults (about 1 in 3) with a criminal record.

Smart Board

Smart Board members developed a tool kit to assist board members when hiring individuals to a Board of Directors position within a non-profit organization. Using "Hands on Greenville" (HOG) as the target organization, group members completed an analysis of the community that HOG serves as well as an inventory of its board members and the constituencies it currently targets. From this analysis, group members devised a tool kit that would be instrumental in the process of attracting new and diverse people, who would add to the diversity management of HOG's board.

S.O.L.E.S.

Members of S.O.L.E.S. (Strengthening Our Leaders, Engaging Society) worked with Youth Leadership Greenville students and asked them to capture their “views” of diversity through photography. Each student was given a digital camera and photos were judged by Upstate DLA Class VI. The photos chosen were published in a 2008 multicultural calendar and distributed to area businesses and non-profit organizations. In addition, a gallery showing and reception for the finalists and their photos will take place at the Clemson University ICAR Gallery in early 2008.

Spartanburg 6: Cavaliers Care

The Cavaliers Care Program is a program designed to provide support resources for students that help them focus on career goals, making better decisions, overcoming adversity and obstacles, improve soft skills, and improve their overall academic achievement. Students that have made poor choices are referred to the program instead of being suspended out of school for long periods. The program keeps students at school where we can provide counseling and support designed to help them to be successful.