Skip to Content

Community Projects

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.

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.


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.


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.

2012 CUED In! (Calendar of Upstate Events on Diversity)

To promote diversity education and awareness, CUED-In produced a 'Diversity Calendar' for the Upstate. The calendar highlights events that bring new viewpoints, cultures, and traditions to the community. With the calendar, CUED-In hopes to give a human face to diversity through photos highlighting diverse peoples, events and even foods. This calendar promotes the inclusion and acceptance of diversity, and will be distributed across the Upstate.


Adopting uniforms is an increasingly common strategy to create a sense of equality and social harmony in public k-12 schools.  Although the costs of uniforms are typically low in absolute terms, they can be relatively high—even prohibitive—for some families. Uni-Form-Ity seeks to meet this challenge by assisting Berea Middle School, which is located near Furman University. The school plans on requiring uniforms beginning in the 2015-2016 school year.

Union: Arresting Hunger

Arresting Hunger is a collaborative effort between Union County Schools and local law enforcement agencies to provide backpacks of food for identified middle school students so that they will be fed on weekends. The team has reached out to local businesses, industries, and faith-based partners to help initiate, grow, and sustain the project through both monetary contributions and donations of specific food items.

Upstate Drivers

Upstate Drivers recognized a need for a forum that would allow DLI graduates to remain in contact as well as to continue promotion of diversity in South Carolina. Therefore, group members proposed the idea of forming "The Upstate of South Carolina Diversity Council," whose primary purpose would be to provide this forum that will support successful diversity management within our communities.

VGER: Public Transportation—Greenville, SC

VGER Team members focused their project on studying the issue of public transportation in Greenville County and examining the current Greenville Transit Authority (GTA) transportation system in Greenville. The team conducted a survey to determine the current perception of public transportation in Greenville. They found that an overwhelming majority of those surveyed owned their own form of transportation and had never used GTA for public transportation.