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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Values Statement: We Believe

The Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina improves the lives of thousands of individuals and families experiencing poverty across our state. We compassionately work to strengthen opportunities for success so children and adults can thrive and achieve their full potential. We believe diversity is a fundamental strength of the diverse groups of people that live and work in our communities. Our mission is best fulfilled when we embrace diversity, advance equity and promote inclusion with measurable action steps.

We embrace diversity.

We believe diversity of experiences, ideas and opinions are important. We intentionally work to reflect the diversity of our communities within the composition of our Board of Trustees, staff, committees, Fellows, interns and volunteers. We also influence externally individuals and families served through our grantmaking, collaborative partners, community stakeholders, leaders and those we engage in business with. We celebrate diversity in all of its forms encompassing, but not limited to, visible and invisible differences in ability, age, culture, education, ethnicity, gender, geography, history, identity, life experience, political affiliation, profession, race, religious beliefs and sexual orientation.

We advance equity.

We believe all people should be treated fairly. We acknowledge the disparities and disproportionality many South Carolina communities face based on differentially situated circumstances and historic underinvestment in education, health and social services. We actively work to reduce the inequalities disadvantaged children and adults face which most often impacts low income individuals, families and communities of color. We commit to work to close the equity gap improving access to equal opportunities and resources overcoming structural power, privilege and oppression that creates barriers to full participation in political, social and economic institutions.

We promote inclusion.

We believe diverse voices should be present, active, listened to and valued. We foster a respectful, inclusive, open environment with varying viewpoints, strengths and assets. In our grantmaking and community engagement strategies, we work to ensure no person is excluded from participation or services due to discrimination, prejudice and other isms.

Achieving diversity, equity and inclusion is a reflective, ongoing, deepening process that requires courage, integrity, transparency and accountability. We commit dedicated time and resources to invest in opportunities to continuously learn in these areas building relationships with others while honoring individual and collective resilience, strengths and capacities. Rooted in our respect for the inherent dignity of all people, we believe these values will help lead to a stronger, more vibrant, welcoming, just and equitable state. We invite others on the collective journey towards greater diversity, equity and inclusion for all.

As part of our ongoing commitment to our values, each year we recognize an individual or organization that illustrates exemplary performance in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion with our Leadership in Diversity Award.

Past recipients who have championed diversity through their actions and leadership are:

  • 2011 Alice Hurley
  • 2012 Dr. Lidia Navarrete
  • 2013 The Dream Center
  • 2014 Sr. Susan Pugh, DC
  • 2015 Bud Ferillo
  • 2016 Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone

Dr. Stephanie Cooper-Lewter leads the Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts. Stephanie insures that the Foundation embraces their diversity, equity and inclusion mission and core values when working with community partners, grantees, and other Foundation stakeholders. It is the Foundation’s intent to be a proactive leader in creating opportunities and building alliances on diversity, equity and inclusion.

Please feel free to contact Dr. Cooper-Lewter if you have thoughts, ideas or suggestions in helping the Foundation further its mission around these important issues. She can be reached at sclewter@socsc.com or by calling 803-254-0230 extension 24.