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Racial Issues

4Wrd Thinking

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “I think it is one of the tragedies of our nation, one of the shameful tragedies that 11:00 on Sunday morning is one of the most segregated hours, if not the most segregated in Christian America.” Our capstone group, 4wrd Thinking, examined Dr. King’s observation by hosting a conversation among religious leaders in the Upstate about this challenging issue. We posed a series of questions to the attendees: Is Dr. King’s observation still valid today? Should something be done to address this phenomenon?

IMPACT (Influencing My Peers as a Caring Team)

Project IMPACT was designed to raise poverty awareness high school student leaders in the Greenville community.  A specialized program provided a venue for 9-12th grade students to identify diversity blind spots and influence change in their school communities.  The inaugural program, held December 9, 2016, included over 50 student council class representatives from Greenville and Mauldin High Schools. Student leaders participated in a live-action poverty simulation designed to highlight everyday challenges some peers may face.

Kicks for Kids

Kicks for Kids group members are working to increase minority participation in youth soccer in Greenville County. On Martin Luther King Day 2011, group members will bring children to the Carolina Elite Soccer Academy to participate in a clinic led by area college men’s and women’s soccer coaches. Group members will also carry out a second event in June 2011, which will also open the new Kroc Center field in downtown Greenville.

Killer Bees

The Killer Bees presented a case study on the effects of racial and ethnic diversity as a result of admission criteria used by Buist Academy, a K-8 school located in the Lowcountry. Created in the mid-1980s, as a way to increase diversity in public schools, Buist came under extreme scrutiny by the residents of its District 20 because non-minority students were not granted admission to the academy. The Killer Bees studied Buist Academy's history and relevant legislation in order to investigate admissions procedures at magnet schools.

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.

Project Kaleidoscope

Project Kaleidoscope recognized the struggles of non-profit organizations to recruit and maintain diverse boards. Project Kaleidoscope developed a questionnaire to study successfully-diverse non-profit boards in order to provide information on how they recruited and maintained diverse boards.

Project 7831

Project 7831 group members examined the inaccessibility of the banking system to the minority population, particularly the state's African-American population. The team researched statistics related to those who use banks and revealed in their presentation that a low percentage of minority citizens utilize banks when compared to their total percentage in the population.

Road Runners

The Road Runners' project was to create a resource guide for newly-arrived immigrants that explains and presents the key customs, services and expectations of the Upstate community that would help ease the integration process. The Road Runners recognized that there were both explicit and implicit challenges integrated into the Upstate culture making it difficult for immigrants to integrate.

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.

Storytellers

The Storytellers project is designed to develop an avenue for local schools to use the art of storytelling to teach the history of South Carolina. Storytellers will produce an oral history of the integration of Greenville County Schools and develop a lesson plan for middle school history programs. The oral history will weave period graphics with the videotaped personal interviews from actors who participated in the desegregation of GCS, including Secretary Dick Riley, AV Huff, Clyde Mayes, and others.