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Upstate Diversity Leadership Awards Dinner 2008

John L. S. Simpkins

The Fourth Annual Upstate Diversity Leadership Awards Dinner

Carolina First Center
Tuesday, May 6, 2008 

The Riley Institute at Furman presented the fourth annual Upstate Diversity Leadership Awards Dinner, hosted by the Greater Greenville Chamber of Commerce and in cooperation with the Anderson Area Chamber of Commerce and the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce, on Tuesday, May 6, 2008 at the Carolina First Center (formerly the Palmetto Expo Center).

This year's special guest speaker was John L. S. Simpkins, who is an Assistant Professor of Law and Director of Diversity Initiatives at the Charleston School of Law in Charleston, SC. He also is Of Counsel with Wyche Burgess Freeman andParham, in Greenville, S.C. Professor Simpkins has observed or served as a consultant in constitution-building processes in Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, and Uganda. He has studied in the law faculties of the University of Cape Town and the University of Hong Kong in addition to lecturing at the National Advocacy Center, the University of South Carolina School of Law, the Thurgood Marshall School of Law in Houston, Texas, and the University of Otago in New Zealand.


Professor Simpkins received an A.B. in Government from Harvard College and a J.D. and LL.M. in International and Comparative Law from Duke University School of Law. He is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. For his extended biography, click here and to view his speech, click here.

Awards were presented to recognize three individuals and three organizations for their outstanding achievement in promoting diversity in the Upstate. 


Calder D. Ehrmann Outstanding IndividualHarry Shucker, retired Vice President, Furman University (award sponsored by Juan Johnson Consulting and Facilitating)

Outstanding High School StudentDamaris Taylor, Greenville High School Academy (award sponsored by Bi-Lo)

Outstanding College StudentLadarius Thompson, University of South Carolina Upstate (award sponsored by Michelin North America)

Outstanding Non-Profit OrganizationTriune Mercy Center (award sponsored by the BMW Manufacturing Co.)

Outstanding BusinessWalgreens Distribution Center in Anderson, SC (award sponsored by the University of South Carolina Upstate)

Outstanding Contribution to International DiversityThe Hispanic-American Women's Association (AHAM) (award sponsored by Wachovia Bank)

Press Coverage

The Greenville NewsAnderson Independent Mail