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.

2017 Leadership in Diversity winner

Dr. Reshma Khan is the Founder and Executive Director of the Shifa Free Clinic, a program of the Islamic Circle of North America Relief USA. Born and raised in India, Dr. Reshma Khan came to the United States in 1998 to visit her brother where she met her husband Dr. Ahsan Khan, and after marrying, immigrated to the USA. She completed her medical residency in OB/GYN at Saint Elizabeth Hospital in Ohio in 2003 and then worked in private practices in Indiana and Maryland before moving to South Carolina.

Fueled with a passion to serve the uninsured at the same level as those who have insurance, she dedicated all of her efforts on a volunteer basis to research, start up and develop the Shifa Free Clinic. With the blessings of the Almighty, the clinic opened on January 7, 2012 serving the uninsured, indigent and immigrant populations. The Shifa Free Clinic serves as a portal for goodness, not just in terms of service, but also bringing people of different faiths, races and religions to a common platform of deeper human connection, understanding, peace and love.

Dr. Reshma Khan is an active participant in multiple interfaith programs in Charleston working towards the promotion of understanding and mutual respect amongst various faiths. In addition to Dr. Reshma Khan’s outstanding leadership and service at the Shifa Free Clinic and her active community volunteer efforts, she and her husband stay very busy with their three children: Ameen (15), Aasim (13) and Ayesha (10).

It is the Foundation’s intent to be a proactive leader in creating opportunities and building alliances on diversity, equity and inclusion. For information regarding the Foundation’s DEI efforts, contact Meredith Mathews, Program  Manager, @ 803-254-0230 extension 16.