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30th Anniversary Celebration


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South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs Celebrates 30 Years of Service

The South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs (CMA) celebrated its 30th anniversary on Thursday, June 29, 2023, at the Columbia Convention Center (1101 Lincoln St., Columbia, SC 29201) to honor the agency’s commitment to serving the State of South Carolina. 

Two-time New York Times best-selling author, civil rights activist, attorney, and entrepreneur Bakari Sellers served as the keynote speaker. WLTX-TV anchor Whitney Sullivan served as our mistress of ceremonies. The celebration included a performance from 7Sunday and a cultural showcase featuring the Eastern Cherokee, Southern Iroquois and United Tribes of South Carolina, the Filipino American Association of Greater Columbia (FAAGC), South Carolina, the Gullah/Geechee Nation, Pele Inspire-Embracing Authentic Love and Palmetto Luna Arts. Additional performances include the Edisto Natchez-Kusso Tribe and Dr. Phyllis Mobley.

As a part of our celebration efforts, CMA launched its Bridging the Gap initiative to fund programs aimed at assisting low-income, disadvantaged students, including those whose parents are incarcerated, with their educational needs. In addition, CMA will provide technical assistance to its various program areas and support to its small, disadvantaged minority businesses. The proceeds from this event will be used to fund the programs included in this initiative.


 Thank you to our sponsors


Gold Sponsor BMW Spartanburg
Reception Sponsor  CCCS International
Silver Sponsors Denmark Tech


  Sisters of Charity


  SC Department of Corrections
  SC Legal Services


  BlueCross BlueShielf


  Cecil Williams


  Able SC




Cultural Showcase Exhibitors

About the Eastern Cherokee, Southern Iroquois, and United Tribes of South Carolina, Inc.

The Eastern Cherokee, Southern Iroquois, and United Tribes of South Carolina (ECSIUT), led by archeologist Chief Lamar Nelson, is a state recognized group dedicated to promoting and creating an awareness of Cherokee and other Native Americans’ arts, history, culture, and its contributions to the development of America and South Carolina. The Eastern Cherokee, Southern Iroquois, and United Tribes of South Carolina, Inc. achieves these goals by promoting the unique culture of Native Americans and Cherokees through publications, exhibitions, symposiums, festivals, PowWows, and other activities. For more information about ECSIUT, visit

About the Filipino-American Association of Greater Columbia, SC (FAAGC)

The Filipino-American Association of Greater Columbia, SC (FAAGC) is a 501c3 organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the rich cultural heritage of the Philippines through cultural and educational presentations to the greater Columbia community; promoting better relations between the Filipinos and the greater Columbia community through involvement in charitable and humanitarian activities; and to encouraging the younger generation of Filipino-Americans to become productive members of the community by providing scholarships when they become eligible. For more information about the Filipino-American Association of Greater Columbia, SC, visit

About the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition

The Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition advocates for the rights of all Gullah/Geechee people around the world; promotes and participates in the preservation of Gullah/Geechee history, heritage, culture, and language; works toward Sea Island land re-acquisition and maintenance; and celebrates Gullah/Geechee culture through artistic and educational means electronically and via “grassroots scholarship.” For more information, visit

About Pele Inspire-Embracing Authentic Love

Faapepele Hunkin, who was born in Nu'uuli, located on the beautiful island of American Samoa, is affectionately known as "Pele", which means "sweetheart" in her native Samoan language. After leaving her life in American Samoa, Pele enlisted in the United States Army, where she excelled. Throughout her life, this fearless woman of God faced numerous adversities, which inspired her to write "Heart of a Warrior". She gains strength from telling her story and sharing God’s glory about her journey worldwide. Pele's ability to candidly share her story with others through her books and speeches has proven her to be someone who inspires, impacts, and empowers those she encounters. To learn more about Pele and her story, visit

About Palmetto Luna Arts

Palmetto Luna’s mission is to foster an understanding of the Hispanic/Latino culture by promoting artistic creation and providing opportunities for cultural expression for the community in South Carolina. To discover more about Palmetto Luna Arts, visit Artwork will be provided by Palmetto Luna Arts. 


Featured Artwork 

Extemporaneous Menina with Dreamcatcher


Work of Art Tittle: Extemporaneous Menina with Dreamcatcher.

Short Description: Artwork (painting) depicting a young Native American woman with a plume of feathers and dressed in the style of the 16th century Spanish royalty. The young woman is surrounded by butterflies and is standing next to a dream catcher. The painting is in mixed media technique (oil, acrylic, canvas, metal leaves and one iron nail) It exact dimensionas are as follows: 39x41x2.5 inches

Artist Statement:

Extemporaneous Menina with Dreamcatcher.

My artistic work is multifaceted: painting, modeling, sculpture, artistic stained glass. Within the painting I work in the technique of oil, acrylic, watercolor, graphite and fresco painting. As for the topics that I deal with, they almost always have to do with freedom, optimism and the way to transform the negative into a positive.

Menina with dreamcatcher is a work that is part of a series entitled "Extemporaneous Meninas". On this occasion I present a work that, in addition to being a tribute to one of the great geniuses in the history of painting (Diego Velazquez), constitutes a call to reflection regarding the prejudices that may exist when judging a person. Especially if that person belongs to a minority group. The dream catcher is an object whose origin is associated with the Native Americans and its function has a magical character. This represents the possibility of making a dream come true.

Here then we see a beautiful Native American young woman dressed in a suit that reminds us of a menina (character of the European nobility) and whose accessories are not typical of the same culture in particular. The young woman is standing next to a dream catcher and three butterflies of different species and colors. 

In most cultures, butterflies are a symbol of freedom, joy, and transformation.