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SCCMA to Release Second Chance Resource Guide for Formerly Incarcerated

In recognition of Second Chance Month, South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs will release its initial Second Chance Reentry Resource Guide. This guide for formerly incarcerated individuals will be released during a live event on Wednesday, April 21, 2021.

The Commission for Minority Affairs will release the resource guide, which is comprised of local, state and national resources to assist the formerly incarcerated as they transition back to their communities. The Commission will also share information and highlight community programs on its Facebook page during the national Reentry Week, April 26-30.

The online event will feature Lester Young, founder of Path2Redmption; Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin; Kimani Davis, owner of Mercy Contracting; Amy Hill, Federal Bonding Program Manager with the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce; and Tameka Crook, Director of Programming and Operations with Fresh Start Visions.

Radio and television personality Brandy “Beasy Baybie” Henshaw will serve as the event moderator.

To view the release and panel discussion, which is scheduled to air at 11 a.m., visit the Commission for Minority Affairs Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/southcarolinaminorityaffairs.

For more information, call the Commission for Minority Affairs at 803-333-9621. 

SCCMA Statement on Anti-Asian Violence

Dear South Carolinians,

On Tuesday, March 16, 2021, our country was once again confronted with violence rooted in anti-Asian racism, as a gunman targeted two establishments in Atlanta, Georgia killing eight people. The victims – six of whom were Asian, two white, and seven of whom were women – were beloved family members and community members whose lives were tragically cut short before their time. The South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs condemns violence, especially violence that is motivated by animus or bias against social groups.

We will continue to work to ensure the vision whereby all “ethnic citizens of the State of South Carolina are treated equitably…” This is especially true of our state’s Asian American / Pacific Islander American community members. Our work aligns with that of the late social activist Grace Lee Boggs in her assessment stating, “In the middle of catastrophe, in the middle of disaster, people – particularly people who have already suffered – see an opportunity to evolve to another stage of humanity.” Our hope is that our country reckons with its anti-Asian bias and fights to ensure that such a senseless tragedy never occurs again.

We stand ready to assist our state and nation to ensure that there is a better tomorrow, free of bias, discrimination, racism and hate.

Sincerely,

Dr. Delores Dacosta, Executive Director

South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs

SC Commission for Minority Affairs’ Hispanic/Latino Affairs Division Launches COVID-19 Action Plan for Agricultural Workers and Latinos Living in Rural SC

The SC Commission for Minority Affairs’ Hispanic/Latino Affairs Division has launched the COVID-19 Action Plan for Agricultural Workers and Latinos Living in Rural SC. This action plan calls for collaborative efforts among state agencies, organizations, services providers, and community leaders/brokers to ensure COVID-19 information, materials, testing and vaccinations effectively reach this segment of the population.

The SC Department of Employment and Workforce’s Agricultural Outreach Plan projects the agricultural workforce need for South Carolina at approximately 12,750 workers. This total includes approximately 6,300 migrant and seasonal farm workers and 6,270 H–2A visa holders. The peak season is from April to September.

The fastest growing segment of many rural communities in South Carolina is the Hispanic population. According to the US Census data, the estimated number of Latinos living in rural areas is 23,395.  There are 16 SC Counties that meet the three definitions used by the Federal Government to define Rural: Hampton, Colleton, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Orangeburg, Clarendon, Williamsburg, Marion, Dillon, Marlboro, Chesterfield, Lee, McCormick, Abbeville, Newberry, Cherokee, and Oconee.

The COVID-19 pandemic has unveiled and intensified severe and pervasive health inequities among minority communities. Agricultural workers and individuals living in rural areas face challenges and barriers in accessing health and social services. Issues of trust and immigration-related fears add stress to the already complex interactions in a health care system that is not prepared to effectively meet the language, cultural, or navigation barriers experienced by this population.

  • Addressing the needs of agricultural workers and Latinos living in South Carolina during this pandemic is both a moral imperative and pragmatic strategy. Our action plan includes activities designed to ensure information, testing and vaccines reach this segment of the population despite foreseen barriers and difficulties. Our action plan is constantly adapting and includes the following activities:
  • Strengthen the working relationship with the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control, SC Department of Employment and Workforce, South Carolina Department of Education Migrant Education Program, SC Department of Agriculture and other state agencies entrusted with providing information and resources to agricultural workers and Latinos living in rural areas. 
  • Assisting state agencies and service providers to develop culturally and linguistically appropriate materials and resources to reach out to this specific segment of our population.
  • Furthering collaborative efforts with state agencies, organizations, coalitions, Latino media and individuals assisting the agricultural worker community and Latinos in rural South Carolina to foster coordinated outreach efforts and sharing of information and resources.
  • Fostering the participation of faith-based leaders/organizations in all activities related to keeping this community informed and aware of services and opportunities to receive information, testing and/or vaccination.
  • Establishing effective communication channels for community leaders/brokers, organizations and agencies to provide feedback regarding specific needs from the community they serve and to establish additional needed items for the action plan.
  • Offering cultural sensitivity training to state agencies, service providers and organizations in working with the agricultural worker community.
  • Influencing State Government and decision makers to ensure adequate materials and vaccines are available for this segment of the population.

If you are a service provider interested in joining the COVID-19 Action Plan for Agricultural Worker and Latinos Living in Rural SC, please enter your information on our COVID-19 Statewide Workgroup for Latinx and Immigrant Communities directory. Make sure to select you are providing services to farmworkers and/or in rural areas. You can also contact Ivan Segura, Program Manager for the Hispanic/Latino Affairs Division at 803-995-8518 or isegura@cma.sc.gov. En español

South Carolinians Aged 16 and Older are Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccine

All South Carolinians aged 16 and older are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

Currently, Pfizer is the only vaccine available to those aged 16-18. All three vaccines—Pfizer, Moderna and Janssen—are available to those aged 18 and older.   

Online appointments can be made by using scdhec.gov/vaxlocator or you can call DHEC’s COVID-19 Vaccine Information Line at 1-866-365-8110 for help. 

SCCMA Launches Latinx Career and Education Survey

The South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs Hispanic Latino Affairs Division has launched a Latinx Career and Education survey to help develop a network of educators, professionals, community organizations and students across the state. Through a new initiative called PLACE (Pathways for Latinxs to Advance Career and Education) Latinx students and young professionals will have the opportunity to learn about their shared experiences and available resources in their area. PLACE provides a platform where participants can network, interchange ideas, share resources as well as develop a sense of pride and belonging as a young Latinx in South Carolina. To complete a survey, CLICK HERE

Submit Your Information to be Included in the Small & Minority Business Directory

The S.C. Commission for Minority Affairs is developing a statewide Minority Business Directory to provide information to users who are interested in doing business with minority-owned businesses. To be included in the directory, complete the Minority Business Directory Questionnaire (English) | (Spanish).

SC CARES Act Relief Grant Programs Awards Notification Process Complete (SC Department of Administration)

The South Carolina Department of Administration announced on Thursday, December 31, 2020, that 2,970 applicants for the SC Cares Act Relief Grant Programs have been notified that they will be receiving grant funds, totaling $65 million, through either the Minority and Small Business Relief Grant Program or the Nonprofit Relief Grant Program. READ MORE

SCCMA Community Civic Engagement Initiative

The South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs (“CMA”) is encouraging communities to become more civically engaged through a new Civic Engagement and Education Academy. The Commission for Minority Affairs will offer a virtual course on civic advocacy beginning August 2020. Individuals, groups and organizations are encouraged to participate in the free program. READ MORE

2020 Community Survey

The S.C. Commission for Minority Affairs is conducting an online survey to better understand the impact of COVID-19 and the recent tornadoes on communities across the state. The survey will track how communities are receiving information related to the COVID-19 pandemic; the impact of COVID-19 on individuals (employment) and small businesses, and the ability to receive financial assistance; the impact of the recent tornadoes (April 13, 2020) in South Carolina; and more. To complete the survey in English, click https://bit.ly/cmacommunitysurvey. To complete the survey in Spanish (Español), click https://bit.ly/cmasurveyspanish.

COVID-19 Statewide Working Group for Latinx & Immigrant Communities

The SC Commission for Minority Affairs, SC Appleseed Legal Justice Center, PASOs and Hispanic Alliance formed a statewide working group of individuals, organizations and businesses serving the Latinx and immigrant communities in SC. The purpose of the work group is to coordinate and share information and resources available to families responding to the COVID-19 crisis. The group created a Directory of Service Providers to facilitate the process of finding resources, sharing information and promoting networking. If you, or your organization, are assisting the Latinx/immigrant community, or if you want to start helping, please complete the form! To ensure an accurate database, please complete all information. For more information, contact Ivan Segura at isegura@cma.sc.gov or Louise Popock at LPocock@scjustice.org.  

We're Still Working for You

While our office is closed to the public, we're still committed to serving you. Our staff is working remotely and is available to assist you. To reach a member of our team, call (803) 333-9621 or email info@cma.sc.gov. STAFF DIRECTORY                    

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