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Diversity Awareness

SAFY - Specialized Alternative for Families of Youth

Specialized Alternatives for Families and Youth (SAFY) is a national non-profit organization that provides a continuum of services for children and youth in child welfare and juvenile justice system. Specifically, it assists foster children with a range of services to create an environment that positively impacts their lives and the lives of their families and their communities.   SAFY currently has three chapters in South Carolina, including one in the upstate.

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.

Sojourners

From the outset, Sojourners sought to develop a Capstone Project that would broaden the discussion of diversity among upstate youth. Our team believes that achieving trusting interpersonal relations, which bridge racial, economic, gender, religious, ethnic, and other cultural and social boundaries is critical to building peace. Providing a forum where young people may discover, understand, welcome and celebrate the similarities and differences among people will serve to provide new pathways and real opportunities for sustainable inclusive communities.

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.

Spectrum

Resource Engagement for Regional Minority Business Growth

A regional minority economic development plan was recently created through the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments. This plan, called “The Strategy: Minority Business Partnership” (MBP) outlines the path to grow minority businesses in the Charleston region. One important need identified in the MPB is for minority business owners to develop “actionable relationships.” These relationships can only be developed as business owners leave their silos and connect with community leaders who can be resources to grow their businesses. The MBP suggests that one method to achieve this is for minority business owners to serve in leadership roles with chambers of commerce.

Surviving Humanity

Surviving Humanity team members focused on the vision of creating a Lowcountry Diversity Leadership Awards Dinner to celebrate regional diversity achievements and success. They modeled their dinner on the existing Upstate Diversity Leadership Awards Dinner. Awards will be given to nominees in several categories, including college student, high school student, business, individual, etc. Using the Upstate model, the group hopes to create community partnerships that will help realize the goal of an annual Lowcountry event sponsored by numerous regional organizations.

Synergy

Non-profit organizations have experienced difficulty in maintaining diverse board membership. Synergy addressed the identification and recruitment aspects of non-profit board diversity. The group created an interactive website, www.SCBoardDiversity.com, to facilitate exchange of materials and information between interested candidates and various non-profit boards. This site is predominantly maintained by the USC Upstate Center for Nonprofit Leadership.

Synergy

With the primary objective of building a greater sense of community and promoting diversity awareness among our leaders of tomorrow, Synergy will bring together a diverse group of student leaders around the Midlands to address a prevalent social issue—Texting While Driving.

Team D-LIGHTT

Team D-LIGHTT (Diversity Leaders Initiative Group Helping Teach Tolerance) partnered with the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry for its project since teaching children tolerance must begin at an early age and should include exposing them to a diverse range of people, ideas and experiences. The Museum provides a place for children to interact in an educational and enriching environment that fosters tolerance, understanding and appreciation for all types of people regardless of race, culture, age, class, gender, physical ability or other differences.

Team Hot Spot

Team Hot Spot aims to bridge the digital divide that is so prevalent in South Carolina by expanding broadband access for students. Many programs, such as Apple grants, provide educational devices for students. However, when the students go home, many of them do not have access to Wi-Fi and so cannot use the devices to work on homework assignments. Through various collaborations with technology officials and organizations such as Connect South Carolina, Team Hot Spot will establish four Internet connectivity centers for students throughout the state.