Skip to Content

Diversity Awareness

DiverSe Connections

DiverSe Connections was tasked to work with Family Connections to help them enhance their connections to community partners, leaders and influencers. We learned that although they are one of the premiere service providers for parents and care givers of children with disabilities, they are still the best kept secret. Although they had a robust website and an amazing communications team, they had no simple way to share their very complicated story.

Group 1

Four 15-minute podcast episodes that explore the intersectionality of police use of force, race, and people with disabilities. Through this podcast we seek to bring awareness to the issue people with disabilities, specifically people of color with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families, face when dealing with law enforcement and solutions for communities in South Carolina.  The Group focused on four different segments of the issue for the podcast:


In an effort to initiate critical dialog in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and social unrest surrounding racial injustice, the Social-Emotional Learning Alliance for S.C. (SEL4SC), in partnership with the Riley Institute’s Diversity Leaders Initiative 2020 Class (DLI) is launching an initiative to help communities come together to support each other in crisis.

The Harmonizers

The Harmonizers, a community action project of Furman University’s Diversity Leaders Initiative, developed a series of concert programs that are sensory friendly for children and adults who are neurodiverse.

PALS – Providing Alternatives to Leadership & Support

South Carolina’s older adult population is among the fastest growing populations in the nation. Alarmingly, approximately 10% of older adults in South Carolina are below the federal poverty level. Previous research indicates severe socioeconomic stressors contribute to declines in quality of life (QOL) including physical and mental health, social functioning, and emotional well-being. Functional and cognitive limitations associated with older adults living with disabilities restrict older adults from being significant contributors in South Carolina communities.


“But, what can I do?” This is the question that resonates with so many in the midst of crisis or human tragedy. The challenge of knowing what to do is often that there are so many avenues to address an issue that people who are already overwhelmed by the event are now overwhelmed by resources. People are equipped to respond to the needs of others in ways that are unique, so is there a way to offer diverse opportunities for people to help through their unique gifts and abilities? The death of Mr. George Floyd, and the vigils and protests following his death, overtly exposed racial inequality and injustice, and the phrase “but what

Tiger Team

The Tiger Team focused on neighborhoods of blight in upstate South Carolina where few opportunities exist for affordable housing, steady employment, small business development, and quality-of-life essentials like fresh groceries, recreational facilities, and youth activities. The team partnered with a newly created non-profit organization, Opportunity South Carolina (OPSC), to discover tangible ways to take advantage of recently created “opportunity zone” investment incentives introduced in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

The A Team

Celebrate Diversity Activity Book

Celebrate Diversity is an eight-page activity book for elementary age youth focusing on diversity, culture, and respecting differences. Students participate in facilitator-led group discussions and dyads, followed by time to color and complete activities.

All — In

The team members of All-In worked with the Greater Columbia Community Relations Council (GCCRC), which promotes positive relationships within the community, equal opportunity and fairness for all members of the community and awareness and appreciation of cultural diversity. The GCCRC has existed for over 50 years in Columbia, but a recent survey taken showed that the community at large is not aware of the GCCRC or its significant contribution to the community.


Question: Does diversity tension affect student performance in our public schools? Process: selected Lake Forest Elementary School due to student diversity; studied school data; identified diversity mixtures; evaluated school motto/mission, and requirements; conducted interviews.