Advocate Stories, Leadership and Civic Engagement

The Welcome Table

by Jennifer H. Gunter, PhD on Jul 16, 2018

In February of this year I became the Director of The South Carolina Collaborative on Race and Reconciliation (SCCRR), which is starting its third year on the University of South Carolina campus. Begun in the wake of the horrific tragedy at Mother Emanuel in Charleston, the Collaborative launched The Welcome Table SC. This initiative, based on the successful model from The William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation at the University of Mississippi, seeks to work with communities to heal racial issues. Using the power of storytelling, communities learn to trust and work with one another and enact real, measurable change. Participants engage with each other throughout the three phase process, which can last for years or be condensed into a few intense days.  But, this is not diversity training. This is a process meant to dig deeper into ourselves and build real relationships with others who may seem different from us.

We are also planning the first of what will be a yearly gathering: Equity Summit 2018: Conversations on Race and Reconciliation. This symposium will meet on the U of SC Columbia campus November 8-9, 2018. The goal is to bring together all who are interested in working towards a more equitable future. The agenda includes a keynote speech by Dr. Susan Glisson, co-founder of Sustainable Equity and two panel discussions featuring scholars and community leaders who are using varying tactics and strategies to work toward the same goal of an inclusive and welcoming society.

More information on us and our initiatives can be found on our website or by contacting me personally. Also, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I would love the chance to sit down and talk to all of you who may be interested.

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