2016: Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone

The Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina believes diverse voices should be present, active, listened to and valued. The Foundation fosters 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 or prejudice.

Achieving diversity, equity and inclusion is a reflective, ongoing, deepening process that requires courage, integrity, transparency and accountability. 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. This year the award went to an individual who embodies all these qualities and more, The Most Reverend Robert E. Guglielmone. Bishop Guglielmone is a true believer in diversity, equity, and inclusion. We are beyond proud to announce him as the 2016 Leadership in Diversity Award Winner.

“Bishop Guglielmone was chosen for the Leadership in Diversity Award because he represents a commitment to social justice and diversity issues across South Carolina,” Tom Keith, Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina President, said. “His passionate work around immigration reform plus human trafficking has been truly fantastic. His leadership role in other important issues such as equality and fairness resonates with so many people. We are honored to be able to provide him with this award for 2016.”

The Most Reverend Robert E. Guglielmone was ordained and installed as the 13th Bishop of Charleston on March 25, 2009 in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. Feeling the call to the priesthood, Bishop Guglielmone entered the seminary for the Diocese of Rockville Centre. He earned a Master of Divinity at Immaculate Conception Seminary in 1977 and was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Rockville Centre on April 8, 1978 and was assigned to St. Martin of Tours in Amityville for his first priestly ministry after ordination. He later served as a priest in parishes across Long Island, most recently as Rector of St Agnes Cathedral in Rockville Centre.

2015: Bud Ferillo

Bud Ferillo is a native of Charleston, S.C., although he has spent most of his professional life in Columbia. His first career was in state government when he became chief of staff to the Speaker of the House in 1974. He became Deputy Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina in 1983 and worked closely with then Governor Richard W. Riley to draft and pass the state’s Education Improvement Act in 1984 which raised $225 million annually dedicated to education initiatives through a penny sales tax increase. Bud was awarded the order of the Palmetto by Governor Riley in 1987.

In his second career in public relations, he continued to advocate for public education and civil rights, working to remove the Confederate flag from the State House dome and legislative chambers. He produced and directed an award winning film in 2005, CORRIDOR OF SHAME: The Neglect of South Carolina’s Rural Schools as part of a multi-year effort to build public awareness for the needs of South Carolina’s poorest and most isolated school districts. He organized a statewide coalition to mobilize public support for a lawsuit brought by those districts against the state which was decided in favor of the plaintiff districts after 21 years of litigation.

In 1996, Bud’s PR firm, Ferillo and Associates, began working with the Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina. He was instrumental in the creation of the “Faces of Poverty” exhibit in a partnership with the South Carolina State Museum. The exhibit traveled throughout S.C. and was viewed by hundreds of school children and citizens in several cities around the state. The exhibit depicted various examples, through pictures, of individuals living in poverty and the compelling stories behind the black and white photographs that had been taken.

Bud is a graduate of Bishop England High School in Charleston, S.C. and the College of Charleston. He is a Vietnam Veteran. Bud is married to the former Julia Blanding Holman and is the father of three children.

2014: Sr. Susan Pugh, DC

The recipient of the Leadership in Diversity Award was Sr. Susan Pugh, DC. Sr. Pugh is a Daughter of Charity on mission at St. Cyprian Church and Outreach center in Georgetown. Sr. Pugh has served in the teaching field for more than 20 years. Currently, her ministry revolves around communities of different cultures.

2013: The Dream Center

The North Charleston Dream Center opened in North Charleston in the fall of 2007. North Charleston is a culturally diverse, economically challenged community and at the time the Dream Center opened, USA Today had identified North Charleston as the 7th most dangerous city in the United States. A change needed to be made.

A small church was located in the community who was willing to share their building. Through the Adopt-a-Block program, the Center opened a food pantry and a clothes closet and began offering English as a second language in response to the needs of the community.

By the fall of 2008, the Dream Center had outgrown the shared facility and moved into their own building. Since that time thousands of meals have been prepared and thousands of families have been clothed. In the spring of 2009, the Center opened a free medical clinic, Dream Center Clinic, with a fleet of mobile units for medical, dental, and vision.

The North Charleston Dream Center is modeled after the same type of organization in Los Angeles. The L.A. Dream Center, opened for 19 years, has been able to see a 70% decrease in the crime rate in the area they serve. The dream is the same in delivering hope to a community that seems to have lost just that. North Charleston has dropped to 63rd in the USA Today rankings and crime has reduced 25% in the area the North Charleston Dream Center is located.

2012: Dr. Lydia Navarette

Navarrete, a bilingual doctor from El Salvador with a specialty in OB/GYN and ultrasonography, has worked for many years as an HIV/AIDS/STD health educator specialist among the Hispanic community in South Carolina. She received training through the American Red Cross, DHEC and other organizations. In addition, she has worked with the Best Chance Network through the American Cancer Society providing outreach and health education to prevent cancer among female Hispanics.

Since 2001, Navarrete has served as director of the Good Samaritan Clinic with locations in Columbia and West Columbia, South Carolina. The Good Samaritan Clinic is a nonprofit organization that provides free medical and dental services to uninsured and low-income individuals in the Midlands.

She participates as a volunteer in different ministries such as food and clothing banks and helps to distribute gifts and toys for children during Christmas with the Salvation Army. She also collaborates with the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease as a speaker for the Hispanic community throughout South Carolina.

Navarrete has been recognized and is well known by the Hispanic community of Columbia. She was the recipient of the International Professional of the Year award in 2004 by the Columbia International Festival Committee. In 2005, she was recognized with the Influential Latina Award during the Teen Latina Scholarship Pageant and Honoring. In 2008, she was recognized by DHEC with the “Excellence in HIV/STD Clinical Service Award.”

Navarrete received her master’s degree in theological study and pastoral care and counseling from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Chicago, Illinois.

2011: Alice Hurley

Alice Hurley was born in Charlotte, NC in 1934. She attended public schools in Charlotte until the 8th Grade. She went on to attend Palmer Memorial Institute, a private school in Sedalia, North Carolina. After High School, Alice went on to attend Boston University. From Boston, to Altanta, to Columbia, South Carolina where Alice and her husband, Anthony established the Columbia Urban League. Alice describes her childhood memories of attending school and life in the segregated south, life as a young adult in the heart of the civil rights movement and her inspiration for establishing the Columbia Urban League.

I’ve lived a lot of history. And it has, to me, been a privilege to have lived through this era, because I knew what it was like before the movement, although I was a child. You grow up being aware of what you’ve lived through. And then, to have been a part and a witness to the Civil Rights Movement and to what is even occurring today, all over the world. I don’t see that things are getting better. I was born in 1934, and we went to war in 1941. Except for those few years of my life, for the rest of my life, this country has been at war with somebody, ever since 1941. I mean, there was World War II, there was Korea, there was Vietnam, there was Desert Storm, all of the conflicts now. And so, those of us who are my age, we’ve lived with war in this country. Although, in a way, because America proclaims to be who it is, you don’t think of it that way, but when you really think about your life and your growing up and the people in your family who have gone off to war or the people in your community who didn’t come back, that sort of thing, you realize that we have lived through a lot of history, including the Civil Rights Movement. I really consider it a privilege to have lived through this era.