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Two South Carolinas

OneSouthCarolina is not just about a weekend, and the inaugural OneSouthCarolina did not end with the time spent in Hilton Head in February 2012. The ongoing SuperCapstone projects and DLI network that was strengthened and extended began to effect real change in South Carolina.  One far-reaching outcome of OneSouthCarolina 2012 was that it directly inspired the powerful four-part series in the Charleston Post and Courier on “Forgotten South Carolina.”

For more information and statistics on "Forgotten South Carolina," click here.


Doug Pardue, special reporter for the Post and Courier, who spent several months researching and writing the series, hosted a Sunday morning breakout session at OneSouthCarolina 2013 entitled “Two South Carolinas.” After showing the Post and Courier video (see below),  identifying 26 of the 46 counties in the state that have been ignored and marginalized by the state over the course of its history,  Pardue suggested that the state has neglected to fulfill its obligations—its social contract, if you will-- to its residents.  Approximately 60 One South Carolina attendees chose to attend this session to hear about the underserved residents of our state.

According to Pardue, the disparities that exist in South Carolina show that either “what we’re doing here is not working – or that we don’t care.” The ensuing discussion included questions around whether leaders should make a concerted effort to be vocal about the state’s rejection of federal dollars--in particular, calling into question the reasoning behind the partisan divide over accepting federal funds to expand Medicaid for low income South Carolinians as part of the Affordable Healthcare Act.  

However, although the issue of expanding Medicaid is controversial, Republicans and Democrats alike agreed that education is the solution to the challenges facing the state and that education, economic opportunity, and healthcare are all interrelated spheres.

Despite the saddening nature of the commentary on the forgotten South Carolina, success stories were shared.  For example, Scott’s Branch High School in Summerton has made significant strides in education, and the comprehensive health care system of Beaufort County is an example of a highly effective partnership between community leaders and federally funded service providers.