Palmetto Project

Community Engagement Programs

In South Carolina, when race is a factor, it is the factor. However, the Palmetto Project has become a leader in equipping communities with new tools to enhance communication, create trust, and solve problems. Other programming encourages young people to strive to become “world-class” and reach out beyond our state’s borders. Our long-standing support of companion organizations in Africa has broadened South Carolinians appreciation for a big part of our heritage.

Our three statewide Citizens’ Summits on Race and Community in 1996-2000 provided a road map to support South Carolina communities struggling with race-related issues. Along with many non-profit and private sector partners, we facilitated dozens of community dialogues and created local programs that led to greater cooperation and long-term relationships that in turn led to progress.

Envision SC.  Among our sponsored programs is this statewide initiative to provide South Carolinians with a broader view of its place in the world by encouraging innovation and creative thinking about where our communities are headed. World-Class Scholars, which utilizes interactive technology to pair off South Carolina classrooms with schools around the world, gives school children exposure to different cultures and a hands-on education in learning about other countries.

Low Country Aid to Africa.   In 2003 leaders of Charleston religious community came together to create stronger ties with non-profit organizations in Africa responding to the continent’s growing health crises. Every year the group of Christians and Jews organizes a major fundraising event through which South Carolinians can provide assistance to this part of the world that has had such an important impact on our state.

Imagine South Carolina.  In 1996 the Palmetto Project created a twenty-year statewide initiative through which the state and its communities might more effectively address social and economic challenges in which race historically had been a barrier to progress. While we could not eliminate racism, we could help South Carolinians learn how to find common ground to solve problems and rally around a common vision with neighbors of diverse backgrounds.

Lowcountry Ministries Fund.  This fund was established in coordination with and at the request of the City of Charleston as an opportunity to honor the victims of the June 2015 tragedy at Emanuel AME Church by furthering community concerns that were important to them, especially in underserved communities in Beaufort, Hampton, Allendale, Colleton, Jasper, and Charleston counties.

Homeless to Hope Fund.  Founded in February 2016, the Homeless to Hope Fund is the nonprofit arm of a larger public-provate partnership to address homelessness in Charleston, Berkeley, and Dorchester counties. Tax-deductible donations are used to assist approved local service providers in providing temporary shelter and support to individuals committed to transitioning to permanent housing and independent living.