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Cultural Connections: August 2022

Check out the latest issue of Cultural Connections, the official newsletter for the South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs! In this issue, readers can check out our new commercial, get the latest information on community news and events, and more. To view the latest issue, CLICK HERE.

Be the first to hear about how the agency is bridging the gap between cultures and communities to create opportunities; upcoming events; cultural spotlights; community news and more. Stay connected with us by joining our electronic distribution list

CMA Sessions: A Journey to America

A new season of CMA Sessions airs Wednesday, August 17th with Filipino-American Friendship Ministry of Christ Pastor Dr. Jake Bolotano.

In this episode, Jacelyn Arradaza, an intern with the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Affairs Division, has a conversation with Dr. Bolotano about his journey to America from the Philippines, as well as his experience as an AAPI immigrant in South Carolina.

CMA Sessions: A Journey to America will air at 12 p.m. on August 17th on Facebook and YouTube.

CMA Sessions are a series of educational conversations, webinars and workshops to present information, resources and development opportunities. Presenters at the CMA Sessions include community activists, educators, social workers and experts on different areas of interest for minority communities in South Carolina.

United Community Bank, CommunityWorks Carolina Partner to Offer a $500,000 Equity Equivalent Loan for Minority Business Owners and Affordable Housing Developers throughout the State. For more more information, visit Greenville Journal.

NOW HIRING: Statistical and Research Analyst II and Statistician III

The South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs is hiring for two Statistical and Research Analysts III and a Statistician III in the agency's Research and Planning Division. To apply, visit the South Carolina Careers website.

SCCMA Launches The Culture Connect Podcast to Highlight Minority Voices in South Carolina

We're launching our first podcast, “The Culture Connect,” on Friday, July 15, 2022 at 10 a.m. with our first guest Executive Director Dr. Delores Dacosta!

The Culture Connect Podcast highlights South Carolina’s minority communities, opportunities and resources. From the Blue Ridge mountains to the foothills, the Piedmont to the Sandhills, the swamps of the Pee Dee to the coastal shores of the Lowcountry “The Culture Connect” brings forward the voices of the forgotten, stories of the unheard, and the realities of the often-marginalized residents of the Palmetto State.

CMA is a state agency tasked with looking after the social and economic interests of South Carolina’s minority communities. While our offices are located in Columbia, our reach is statewide.

We do not shy away from the issues that most affect them – issues related to education, housing, criminal justice, food insecurity, and more. We cut through the noise to get to the root of issues so that we can achieve real solutions to problems plaguing minority communities.

Yet, we are not only focused on their trials. We are also unapologetic about sharing their successes and highlighting those who make our communities sources of pride: small business owners, teachers, nurses, agricultural workers, elected officials, and those who were incarcerated. These are the individuals who embody our state motto: Dum Spiro Spero – for while they breathe, they hope!

Please subscribe so that you can stay aware of new episodes and be sure to follow us on Instagram and Twitter at @sccfma and connect with us on Facebook at @southcarolinacommissionforminorityaffairs.

SCCMA Cultural Connections Newsletter Moves to New Monthly Format

Cultural Connections, the official newsletter for the South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs, will be delivered to your inbox on a monthly basis! Stay up to date on the latest news and information from the state's official agency created to support ethnic minority communities in South Carolina. 

In the July edition, view information on the latest Research Brief, our Employees of the Month, community news and events and more. To view the latest issue, CLICK HERE.

Be the first to hear about how the agency is bridging the gap between cultures and communities to create opportunities; upcoming events; cultural spotlights; community news and more. Stay connected with us by joining our electronic distribution list

Unaffordable Housing: Cost-Burdened Housing Estimates for South Carolina's Minority Population (Download PDF)

Minorities are more likely to reside in cost-burdened housing arrangements than their white peers. In this brief, Research Director Dr. Robert P. Fenton examines cost-burden housing and suggests that policies aimed at increasing minority homeownership rates could significantly diminish cost burdens experience by the minority community in South Carolina. Click to view this brief and more from the Research Division

South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs' Employee of the Month Program

The South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs recently created a new Employee Recognition Program to honor team members who have exhibited outstanding commitment to the mission and vision of the agency, and its constituent communities. Join us in congratulating these wonderful team members for their hard work! 

  • January 2022-Mauricio Orozco, Public Information Coordinator
  • February 2022-Shireese Bell, Director of Public Information
  • March 2022-Alex Tovar, Hispanic/Latino Affairs Program Coordinator
  • April 2022-Andrea Flores, Coordinator (Public Information & Hispanic/Latino Affairs)
  • May 2022-Patricia Gaillard, Native American Affairs Program Coordinator
  • June 2022-Margaret Tillman, Procurement Administrator
  • July 2022-Dr. Robert P. Fenton, Director of Research and Planning

SC Ports Authority Legal Notices

Are you interested in working with the SC Ports Authority? Visit to view available opportunities for business owners and entrepreneurs to bid on projects. Note: When visiting links for most Engineering Capital Construction projects, visitors will be redirected to the e-Builder website. Each new project requires the user to register (name, company name and email address). For more information on the SC Ports Authority, visit

SCCMA Board of Commissioners Meeting

The South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs Board of Commissioners held a virtual meeting on Thursday, June 23, 2022 at  2 p.m. Click to view the agenda. Click to view the recording.

Congratulations to Dr. Wenonah Haire for being Selected for the Governor's Award in the 2022 South Carolina Historic Preservation Awards Program

Dr. Wenonah Haire, Tribal Historic Preservation Officer with the Catawba Indian Nation, has been selected for the Governor's Award in the 2022 South Carolina Historic Preservation Awards program. 

Each year thousands of South Carolinians work to preserve the state’s legacy that is reflected in our historic buildings, structures, and sites. Since 1995, Preservation South Carolina, the SC Department of Archives and History, and the Office of the Governor have recognized exceptional accomplishments in the preservation, rehabilitation and interpretation of our architectural and cultural heritage with a series of statewide awards.

The awards ceremony will be held on Wednesday, July 13 at the South Carolina State House. Click for more information on the 2022 South Carolina Historic Preservation Awards Program.

Hack @ SChack '22 Competition to be Held at Denmark Technical College November 5

Hack @ SChack ’22, a hacking competition for SC Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Trident Technical College underrepresented minority students to hone their cyber security and computer science skills, will be held at Denmark Technical College on Saturday, November 5, 2022 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

The Hack@SChack Hackathon is a Capture-the-Flag event to stretch your security muscle and have FUN! Students from each participating school will:

  • Select six students to participate in two teams of three students each, to compete for prizes. Participants will be selected by faculty.
  • Bring interested students to watch the competition and cheer on your school’s teams.
  • Engage with exhibitors and sponsors
  • Listen to Keynote speaker and one of the world’s most respected authorities on cybercrime and scams, Frank Abagnale!

For more information about the competition, visit

A Look Behind the Bars: Examining the State of South Carolina's Prison Population

In this brief, Social Science Research Analyst Ashley Hanna-Williams, examines the State of South Carolina's prison population in light of the growing socioeconomic imbalances that infringe upon the state’s historically disenfranchised and under-served communities. This information was presented publicly at the 2022 South Carolina Re-Entry Conference on April 8, 2022. Click to view the latest research brief.

    Congratulations to Denmark Tech President Dr. Willie L. Todd Jr. for Being Named South Carolina Association of Technical College Commissioners CEO of the Year 

    Denmark Technical College President and CEO Dr. Willie L. Todd Jr. has been named the 2022 CEO of the Year by the South Carolina Association of Technical College Commissioners.

    The award, which recognizes the tremendous services of and contributions made by a technical or community college chief executive officer, is given on an annual basis. Recipients are chosen from nominations made by the area commissioners from the 16 colleges that make up the South Carolina Technical College System.  

    “It is clear that Dr. Todd has helped Denmark Technical College not only survive but thrive since his arrival in January 2020.  We now know how truly hard the job was during that time for any seasoned college president, but particularly difficult for a president new to our system as a whole,” said Ashley Jaillette, executive director of the South Carolina Association of Technical College Commissioners.  
    Todd assumed the helm of Denmark Technical College on January 13, 2020 after serving as the vice president of academic affairs and student services at the college. Under Todd’s leadership, Denmark Technical College has reemerged as a leader in higher education for the residents of Allendale, Bamberg and Barnwell counties.  

    In his brief time as president and CEO, he has made tremendous strides across all areas of the college including sweeping facility and technology improvements, placing a focus on curriculum and academics, fortifying technology programs, building capacity for a thriving student affairs division, rebuilding the DTC brand and creating a strategic plan along with a ten-year master plan that will guide the college through the next decade.  

    “With so many challenges facing Denmark Tech, we needed the vision of a strong leader who would address the challenges and move the college forward with immediate resolve. Dr. Todd exceeded the expectations as a resolute leader, with his swift and laser-like approach. His vision, tenacity, dedication and passion for excellence are among the reasons the Denmark Technical College Area Commission nominated him for South Carolina Association of Technical College Commissioners CEO of the Year,” said James W. Bowden, Denmark Technical College area commissioner.   
    Todd has nearly three-decades’ experience in higher education where he has intentionally spent his professional career serving HBCUs. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree in English from Georgia State University, a Master of Education in higher education administration from Regent University and a Master of Education in English education, as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Albany State University.  
    Todd has received numerous awards across his career including the 2021 Shining Star Award from the South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs and several national awards from Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. He is a national award-winning playwright and has received local, regional and national awards for teaching excellence and creativity. 

    "I'm humbled and honored to receive this recognition. This award is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the Denmark Technical College team who devotes countless hours to keep the college forging onward," said Todd.