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SC Commission for Minority Affairs’ Hispanic/Latino Affairs Division to host the first ever South Carolina Latinx Student Summit at USC Upstate’s South Carolina Centro Latino

The South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs’ Hispanic Latino Affairs Division will host the inaugural South Carolina Latinx Student Summit at USC Upstate’s South Carolina Centro Latino. This event will be held at USC Upstate (800 University Way, Spartanburg, SC 29303) on Wednesday, October 27, 2021, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Julio C. Hernandez, Clemson University’s Assistant Vice President for Inclusive Excellence & Executive Director for Hispanic Outreach, will deliver the keynote address. The summit also includes remarks from Araceli Hernandez-Laroche, PhD, Associate Professor of Modern Languages & Director of South Carolina Centro Latino at USC Upstate, and Ivan Segura, Program Manager for the Hispanic/Latino Affairs Division at the SC Commission for Minority Affairs.

The Latinx Student Summit is an initiative of the Commission’s Pathways for Latinos to Advance Career and Education (PLACE) Program, which is designed to collaborate efforts among educators, professionals and community organizations seeking to connect Latinx students and young professionals across the state. The ultimate goal is to foster educational development and career advancement.

PLACE creates a network of Latinx students and young professionals to learn through their shared experiences and available resources, and the activities are determined by the unique needs and goals of these individuals. PLACE provides a networking and brainstorming platform where ideas are interchanged, resources are shared, and a sense of pride and belonging is cultivated amongst South Carolina’s Latinx youth.  

Admission to the South Carolina Latinx Student Summit is free, however, in-person attendance is limited. Those unable to attend in-person are invited to view the summit’s live broadcast on the Commission’s Facebook page (@southcarolinaminorityaffairs).

To register for the Latinx Student Summit, visit To learn more about the SCCMA’s Hispanic/Latino Affairs Division, visit:

For more information, contact Ivan Segura at 803-995-8518 or

About the SC Latinx Student Summit Icon:

Designed by Dre Lopez, the icon used for the SC Latinx Student Summit is of a butterfly which symbolizes change, evolution, growth and forward movement.  “Both in the now for so many, as well as in ancient times to our many indigenous ancestors,” Lopez said. The style of drawing itself is directly inspired by Aztec drawings and carvings.

All the symbology included in the illustration have to do with movement, change, growth, evolution, and transformation. The Crescent moon represents the Flag of South Carolina, as well as the Aztec god and goddess of the moon. The icon also includes references to plants, nature, the wind, water, and life / creation, death and new beginnings. Within the plants, the main anchor for the whole piece is the state’s official tree, the Sabal palmetto. The colors add a youthful energy to the design.


Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Graphic

SC Commission for Minority Affairs to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

Social Media Campaign to Highlight Hispanic/Latino Culture and History

In recognition of National Hispanic Heritage Month, the South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs (SCCMA) will celebrate Hispanic and Latino culture and history through its Celebra La Herencia Hispana social media campaign.

“Hispanic Heritage Month is a great opportunity for us to honor the contributions of Hispanics and Latinos and their impact on society,” said Dr. Delores Dacosta, Executive Director for the SC Commission for Minority Affairs. “It’s important that we recognize these heritage months so that everyone has the opportunity to learn about their rich history.”

The campaign, which was organized by the agency’s Hispanic/Latino Affairs Division, will feature recipes, historical figures, languages, and music from Afro Latino and Indigenous communities.

Messages will be posted to the agency’s Facebook (@southcarolinaminorityaffairs) and Instagram (@sccfma) pages through October 15.

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

Release / Proclamation / Events Calendar 

SCCMA Celebrates Small Business Week with Educational Webinars

In recognition of National Small Business Week, the South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs partnered with the SBA (Small Business Administration) South Carolina District Office to host two educational webinars designed to help small business owners connect to opportunities with the U.S. government.

National Small Business Week, which kicks off September 13, will celebrate the resiliency of small businesses owners and entrepreneurs. Small business owners are encouraged to participate in the following webinars to take advantage of the resources available through the federal government:

Thursday, September 16, 2021 at 10 a.m.

Contracting 101

Get the information you need to know about how to do business with the world's biggest customer--the U.S. government. Plus, learn about the SBA's small business contracting programs, including the 8(a) Program for socially and economically disadvantaged business owners, Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Program, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) Program, and many more! This webinar will be led by SBA South Carolina District Office’s Deputy District Director Michael Corp.

To register for the webinars, visit

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

Apply for Rental and Utility Assistance through the SC Stay Plus Program

SC Housing has updated its SC Stay Plus emergency rental and utility assistance program to make applications and approvals easier for South Carolina residents late on their rent payments.

Launched in May, the SC Stay Plus program is a $272 million federally funded program designed to help renters in 39 South Carolina counties stay safely in their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing payments directly to landlords and utility companies. The following seven counties have their own rental assistance programs: Anderson, Berkeley, Charleston, Greenville, Horry, Richland and Spartanburg.

The updates to the program include:

  • Relaxed documentation: Documentation requirements have now been relaxed so that applicants can now “self-attest” to certain information instead of providing detailed documentation. This includes documentation on housing instability, financial impact of the pandemic and, if you live in one of 196 distressed South Carolina ZIP codes, documentation on income.
  • Additional call center support: SC Housing recently added staff to the SC Stay Plus call center, which will reduce wait times for applicants who need support over the telephone. The additional staff members also allow the call center (available at 800-476-0412) to remain open later – now from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern.
  • Improved accessibility: The program continues to make efforts to improve accessibility. If residents require support with submitting an application, they can go to a partner resource center to get in- person assistance. Applicants will have access to technology and resources they need to submit a complete application with the required pieces of documentation. As of Monday, in-person support is available in Beaufort, Pickens and Lancaster counties, with more to be added soon. Here is where applicants can find that support:
    • Beaufort Branch Library (311 Scott St., Beaufort) Monday through Thursday: 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Friday: 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Saturday: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
    • Hampton Memorial Library (304 Biltmore Road, Easley) Monday through Thursday: 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Friday: 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Saturday: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
    • Lancaster County Library (313 S. White St., Lancaster) Monday through Thursday: 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Friday: 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Saturday: 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

For more information, visit

CMA Sessions: A Sense of Belong to Air Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Tune in Wednesday, September 1 at 12 noon for our next episode of CMA Sessions! In this episode, you'll hear from Dr. Myriam Torres, Clinical Associate Professor and Director of the Consortium for Latino Immigration Studies at the University of South Carolina, on how students and institutions of higher education must work together to foster a sense of belonging for Latinx students. Dr. Torres talks about her experience as a student and professor at USC and offers words of wisdom and encouragement for all Latinos to succeed in school. Dr. Torres is interviewed by Hispanic/Latino Affairs Division program assistants Alex Tovar (English) and Andrea Flores (Spanish).

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. CMA Sessions are presented in English and Spanish, and air on the agency's Facebook page.

CMA sessions will continue in the upcoming weeks with topics of interest to students and young professionals leading up to the agency’s inaugural SC Latinx Student Summit scheduled for Wednesday, October 27 at El Centro Latino at USC Upstate. To view past episodes of CMA Sessions, visit CMA's Facebook page.

SC House Redistricting Public Hearing Sessions

The South Carolina House Judiciary Committee's Redistricting Ad Hoc Committee has released a tentative scheduled for the 2021 redistricting cycle. To be added to the committee's email list, send a message to To view the tentative schedule, visit

SCCMA, SBA Sign Strategic Alliance Memorandum to Help Small and Minority Businesses in South Carolina

The South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs (SCCMA) and the United States Small Business Administration-South Carolina District Office announced a partnership to assist small, minority businesses in South Carolina. On Thursday, July 29, both agencies signed the Strategic Alliance Memorandum (SAM) agreeing to share information about programs and services that are designed to help individuals start, maintain and expand small, minority businesses in the state.

To view the full ceremony, please visit our YouTube page

Download resources from the SAM Ceremony: SBA Presentation | Contracting | Exporting-Lenders | Community Advantage-Lenders | 504 Loan-Third Party | Microloan-Lenders

SC Commission for Minority Affairs Small and Minority Business Demographic Survey

The South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs' Small and Minority Business Division has released a survey to measure the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on small, minority-owned businesses in South Carolina. This survey will be used to inform future policy initiatives and current and future funding allocations from state and federal resources. Participation in this survey is vital in guiding our priorities and providing direction for upcoming events and activities. Submissions will remain anonymous. The survey is available in English and Spanish. Click to participate: English / Español

SCCMA Grow with Google Small Business Series 

The South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs will host a free Grow with Google course, Sell Online with E-Commerce Tools. on Tuesday, August 31 at 10 a.m. 

In this course, Digital Coach Shennice Cleckley will teach you how to sell your products online. This course will walk you through listing your products for free with Google My Business and Merchant Center. And we'll show you one way to sell on your website, using an E-Commerce store built with Shopify. Plus, learn about more helpful tools to stand out online, such as Local Opportunity Finder and Grow My Store. REGISTER for the free session today.

For more information, call the SC Commission for Minority Affairs at 803-333-9621 (Press 1 for English, Press 2 for Spanish).

Asian American and Pacific Islander Needs Assessment 

We're conducting a survey to address the needs of the Asian and Pacific Islander community in South Carolina. Participants will remain anonymous and data will be kept confidential. If you're AAPI, please take and share this survey.

SCCMA Launches Cultural Connections Quarterly Newsletter

Cultural Connections graphic

The South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs launched its inaugural quarterly newsletter, Cultural Connections, on Thursday, July 1, 2021. 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. To view the inaugural issue, CLICK HERE. Stay connected with us by joining our electronic distribution list

Asian American and Pacific Islander Civic Engagement Youth Conference Held in May

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.

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.

Click to view a copy of the Second Chance Reentry Resource Guide.

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

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. READ MORE. En español

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 or Louise Popock at