SCCMA AA/PI Civic Engagement Youth Conference
In observance of Asian American and Pacific Islander Month, the South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs held its inaugural Civic Engagement Conference for Asian American and Pacific Islander youth on Friday, May 21. The virtual, free conference featured sessions on civic engagement, networking, and a panelist discussion on AA/PI culture and identity. Panelists included Aditi Srivastav Bussells, PH.D., M.P.H., Director of Research at Children's Trust of South Carolina; Kenneth Sloane, Former President of Clemson University's Asian Student Association; and Ally Branzuela, Secretary of Wofford College's Asian and Pacific Islander Student Organization. Jimmy Chao, President and Chief Engineer with Chao and Associates, Inc., delivered the keynote address. To view the full video, visit SCCMA's YouTube channel.
Statement on the passing of Mr. Frank Mauldin Jr.
The South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs is saddened by the passing of Mr. Frank Mauldin Jr. Mr. Mauldin, a devoted public servant, played a significant role in establishing the Commission for Minority Affairs. He was a true leader and champion for diverse voices, and was committed to creating diverse and inclusive spaces.
We extend our deepest condolences, thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of Mr. Mauldin.
SCCMA Second Chance Reentry Resource Guide for the Formerly Incarcerated Now Available
In recognition of Second Chance Month, the South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs released its initial Second Chance Reentry Resource Guide for formerly incarcerated individuals during a live event on Wednesday, April 21, 2021.
The resource guide, which is comprised of local, state and national resources, is designed to assist the formerly incarcerated as they transition back to their communities.
The online event featured Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin; Lester Young, founder of Path2Redmption; Kimani Davis, owner of Mercy Contracting and founder of Ynotu2; 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 served as the event moderator.
During the national Reentry Week, April 26-30, the Commission will share resources and highlight community programs on its Facebook page.
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.
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 email@example.com. 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).
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. Individuals, groups and organizations are encouraged to participate in the free program. READ MORE
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or Louise Popock at LPocock@scjustice.org.