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Racial Issues

The Barrier Breakers

The Barrier Breakers group will initiate a recognition ceremony for high school students in the Midlands who have done something especially noteworthy to break barriers among diverse groups in their schools or communities. For this purpose, diversity can be defined in any number of ways. The group hopes to elicit nominees from each of 27 schools contacted. Each student will receive an honorable mention and the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners will receive scholarships for $2500, $1500 and $500 respectively.

Behavior Busters

Behavior Busters team members focused on the issue of the lack of African American representation at downtown Greenville events. By examining photos taken during random downtown events, team members noticed that a small percentage of those in attendance were African American. Focus groups and interviews were conducted, in order to shed light on why there was such a low rate of participation. The Behavior Busters found that from most of their interviews, there was a general sense of a lack of variety in the programming of venues downtown.

Behind the Headlines: Building a Community of Trust

Team Palmetto Focus’ capstone project is entitled “Behind the Headlines: Building a Community of Trust.” Troubled by a barrage of racial tensions evident in the media, Team Palmetto Focus aims to facilitate meaningful discussions about race in South Carolina. Winthrop University is home to the John C. West Forum, which will host the capstone group’s event. A West Forum panel event consisting of law enforcement, academic experts, and activists will be moderated and attended by Winthrop students as well as the public.

The Bridge

The Bridge identified gang violence as an issue they wanted to address. The project targets at-risk youth in grades K through 5 and centers on a six-week anti-violence, conflict resolution based curriculum. There are multiple objectives, including getting students of different backgrounds to interact with and learn from each other and preventing an inclination to violence at an early age. Workbooks provided by the department of juvenile justice “No Violence is G.R.E.A.T. (Gang Resistance Education and Training) are used for the program.

Bridge Builders (Bridges to a Brighter Future)

Bridge Builders will serve as a catalyst and initially develop the program components to create a mentoring Diversity Leadership Initiative (DLI) program. DLI graduates will volunteer to serve as mentors to the Bridges to a Brighter Future program graduates in their junior and senior years of college. Mentors will be paired with students based on their professional career/experience and the student’s major and intended or desired career.

Bridging Diversity GAPS in the UPSTATE

G.A.P.S. focused on the extension of effective emergency services to minority groups, specifically the growing Hispanic minority in the Upstate. G.A.P.S. noted that emergency services' ineffectiveness in responding to specific crises is often related to language barriers, as well as the general reluctance of the Hispanic minority to use emergency services for (1) fear of INS or deportation, (2) fear of losing U.S.-born children, or (3) prior negative experiences with authorities. G.A.P.S.

The Capitol Improvers

The Capitol Improvers created P.R.E.P. (Preparedness Re-Entry Program) Action, a program which focuses on providing resources for ex-offender transition and systems for reconnecting the recently released ex-offender with his or her community. Group members hope to help break the endless cycle of release and re-incarceration by providing information about and access to support systems at the point of release; these support systems could meet social, economic, emotional, and spiritual needs.

Capstone Creatures

The Capstone Creatures' starting point question was "Has the physical separation of the programs of United Ministries in three separate buildings on two different sides of the street created more than a physical division among the staff?" The Capstone group did a cultural audit and interviewed staff and volunteers associated with the organization. The group discovered that the geographic diversity problem (two sides of the street) was more relevant than the more traditional diversity issues of race and gender.

Carolina Perspectives

Team Carolina Perspectives’ goal is to bring DLI alumni together to continue the style and dynamic of the conscious conversation experienced during DLI classes. The group hopes to continue and build relationships among DLI alumni, facilitate at least two evenings of conscious conversations that stimulate diversity awareness, and enhance DLI growth through these dialogue and relationships and “carry it on.”

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.