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Government

Capitol Kids

Goal: Provide a diverse group of seventh-grade students with the opportunity to shadow their state representatives for a day at the State Capitol.

As a project of Furman's Riley Institute Diversity Leaders Initiative (DLI), a group of eight community leaders is piloting Capitol Kids in the Lowcountry for the 2015-2016 academic year. A statewide program, the purpose of the DLI is to raise awareness of diversity issues, engage in meaningful dialogue, and develop relationships to help move South Carolina forward.

CDs

Recognizing the existing language barrier and lack of bilingual services available, the goal of the CDs was to suggest a more streamlined process of performing daily operations at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Members of this group completed case studies concerning the needs of those individuals that come to the DMV and do not speak English.

Charleston Undertold History Map

The Charleston Undertold History Map team aims to create African-American history walking and driving tours that highlight many of the lesser-known facts about civil rights in the area. The project will unfold in five phases, including paper maps, physical markers denoting such places of interest as former lunch counters and slave import center Gadsden’s Wharf, an interactive map, school curriculum, and an app. Development funding sources for all of these projects are still under consideration, but the mayor’s office is likely to prove helpful in the coming months.

DiverSC

DiverSC, believing that the nation has a diversity “blind spot” toward South Carolina, designed a project intended to correct the misperception that South Carolina lacks diversity or fails to value diversity. This misperception is a problem for South Carolina , as the State seeks to attract businesses, job applicants and students who value diversity. As part of the project, the group analyzed research designed to determine what others actually think of our state. One thing we learned is that many people feel they do not know a lot about South Carolina.

Diversity Docs

The Diversity Docs team studied the question of why more minorities did not participate naturally in the Greater Greenville Chamber of Commerce. The team conducted surveys and one-on-one interviews to study the Chamber's diversity policy and the low participation rate of minority businesses in the Chamber. They found a lack of awareness concerning the stated diversity policy of the Chamber as well as a reluctance of minorities to join the Chamber.

Embrace SC

Embrace SC has created a website that can be utilized as a tool for companies who are targeting and recruiting diverse candidates to the Midlands. Mindful of the negative perception that many people still have of South Carolina, the group’s website provides links to organizations, activities and relevant resources in the Midlands that cater to diverse individuals in the following categories:

Empathy without Apprehension

Empathy without Apprehension’s goal is to improve the interactions between law enforcement and youth. By facilitating the interactive game Juvenile Justice Jeopardy, the Greenville Sheriff’s Department will be able to expand their community outreach to teens in the county. The game teaches youth about the justice system and helps them understand their legal rights as well as the consequences of certain actions. Juvenile Justice Jeopardy has been successfully implemented around the country and this DLI project will be the first time it is introduced to South Carolina.

Gangbusters

The Gangbusters Group was key to the launching of the BeRight! Project of Bible Way Church of Atlas Road. This project aims to provide resources to parents and/or young people in order to prevent and address negative lifestyle behaviors (gang activity, truancy, teen pregnancy, etc). Through their hotline, BeRight! is able to refer clients to a variety of resources to help them with their specific concern. Gangbusters was able to bring together the important ingredients to launch this project in a very public way.

Guides 4 Good

“Walk in My Shoes” leverages city leadership support to allow a number of justice workers across disciplines to act as mentors to the youth enrolled in Goodwill® GoodGuides®' 52-week, school-based mentorship program. “Walk in My Shoes” also provides program enhancements at the launch of the engagement, a special neighborhood walk for the group to build greater empathy, and an incentivized “graduation” celebration upon completion of the full program for the youth and their families.

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.”