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Diversity Awareness

Inclusion Infusion

The Inclusion Infusion team of the Riley Institute’s Upstate Diversity Leaders Initiative recognized a need to honor “organizations, programs, and individuals for their contributions in promoting international diversity in the Upstate.” To accomplish this mission, the Infusion Inclusion team organized the International Diversity Leadership Recognition Dinner, which was a “regional evening dinner event to recognize and celebrate good deeds and community service by Upstate individuals and organizations who are leaders in the field of promoting international diversity.”

Investing in Islanders

For a number of years enrollment at St. John’s High School on John’s Island has been declining. Students are being lured away by magnet and charter schools and other opportunities, leaving the school at a disadvantage with lower student numbers and funding. In an effort to create opportunities for the current student body and to better compete for potential student enrollment, St. John’s High School embarked on a strategic planning process. To that end, a strategic plan was established with several goals. One goal is to create internship opportunities for St.

iUpstate

Upstate South Carolina boasts the highest international investment per capita than any other region in the United States. With such high numbers of “ex-pats” (ex-patriots) moving into the area each year, iUpstate identified the need for a comprehensive, user-fed website that provides answers to some of the most common questions asked by these internationals, regardless of country of origin. The website is located at www.iUpstate.org

Know Difference

Members of the Know Difference Team recognized that often good news is overshadowed by the bad news in today’s society. Know Difference decided to promote South Carolina’s good news…already existing, dynamic youth programs that have daily impact and address diversity. Team members reviewed three programs and narrowed their focus to Unite Summerton. Unite Summerton brings together students from two local Summerton schools one public, Scotts Branch, and one private, Clarendon Hall, to celebrate and promote diversity amongst young people.

Leadership Landscape

The Leadership Landscape Speaker Series is a program designed to bring local leaders with diverse backgrounds, and from a variety of different industries, into public elementary, middle and high schools to talk to students about the path to professional success. Many of the speakers identified for this series will share the characteristic of being distinctive in their respective fields due to their gender, racial, or ethnic background.

Marion: ReCapturing Kids Hearts

Recapturing Kids Hearts, a community action project which will bring together a diverse group of people to impact the lives of some of our students who are in the most need, seeks to provide them with opportunities to be college and/or career ready. The district’s mission is to educate, prepare and inspire all students and this includes students who are at-risk of not being college and/or career ready due to various factors.

Melanges

The group anticipates exciting and unique activities in the schools drawing on the creativity of the teachers and the resources of our team. Team members hope that music, art, literature, poetry, social studies, geography, sports, etc., will be encompassed in the “Diversity Awareness Week” and the team is committed to ensuring that these activities not cost the school anything as Team Melange will provide the resources to staff and promote the week as needed.

Midlands Mix

The Midlands Mix will assist a Midlands high school in developing a keener appreciation for its diverse student population by providing a forum for students to mix, engage in self-selected activities, and form trusting relationships. During spring 2008, students will be led in facilitated exercises and discussions that will result in the formation of an on-going student organization that will be formally organized during the 2008 – 2009 school year.

Monnie and the Magical 8

Members of Monnie and the Magical 8 sought to teach young people to “Take a Second Look.” Understanding that discrimination begins in middle school, members of Monnie and the Magical 8 set their goal to urge middle school students to look beyond their classmates’ clothes, hair color, weight, or height.

Nine 4 Youth

Nine 4 Youth group members are playing a critical role in an exciting initiative called Challenge Day in two Midlands high schools. Challenge Day is a youth-based national experiential learning program that started in California in 1987 and works with hundreds of schools yearly to diffuse tensions and diversity-related challenges in middle and high schools. The vision of Challenge Day is to create a school environment where every child feels safe, loved and celebrated.