Nonprofits supporting the black community in Columbia, SC

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State House | Photo via @the5and2project

On Tuesday, we asked y’all to give us your feedback about what questions you have about the protests or paths forward for the city + Columbia, you did not disappoint. You shared your thoughts and questions with us and we appreciate all the feedback. If you missed that, here is your chance to send us your questions. 

We know Columbia knows how to come together and support one another.  We had a number of questions from members of our community wanting to know how they can become more involved. 

Part of our mission is to educate + activate our community and we want to make sure we provide the most relevant resources. Let us know what organizations you are involved with and support as well. In the meantime, here are a few Columbia organizations you can support or get involved with today.

Columbia Urban League

Mission: “The Mission of the Urban League movement is to enable African American and other under-served communities to secure self-reliance, primarily in education, employment, and economic development.”

The Urban League is the nation’s oldest + largest community-based movement dedicated to empowering African Americans and others to enter the economic and societal mainstream. The Columbia Urban League is a multi-service, non-profit agency that promotes financial stability and racial inclusion in our community. The Columbia Urban League offers a number of programs themed around economic empowerment and educational opportunities. ​

SC NAACP 

Mission: “Our mission is to endure the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights of all persons and eliminate race-based discrimination. And we’ve been doing it since 1909.”

The local chapter of the national organization works to eliminate racial discrimination in housing, voting, healthcare, education and in the Courts. The organization advocates for equality and has been a long time supporter of civil rights. Updates and resources can be found on their website. The local chapter was also recognized recently with the 2020 FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award.  

Building Better Communities

Mission: “Bridging the gap between local law enforcement and our communities by providing the necessary tools required for them to become successful.”

The Columbia-based organization hosts roundtable conversations, often connecting individuals in the community to our leaders. They also host the annual March For Our Lives event each March – visit their Facebook page for updates. 

100 Black Men 

Mission: “The 100 Black Men of Greater Columbia, Inc. Is to improve the quality of life for citizens within our communities, with a special emphasis on youth, particularly in the areas of mentoring, education, economics and financial literacy, and health + wellness.”

This local nonprofit focuses mostly on mentoring and educating Columbia’s youth through their community programs such as Saturday Academy, Collegiate 100 + Minority Male Mentoring Initiative. The organization also hosts a gala in December. 

SC Progressive Network  

Is a group of organizations and individual activists who are working together to promote social and economic justice in SC. The organization was created over 20 years ago as a tool to engage South Carolinians in their communities and in their government while connecting people and promoting changes to public policy. 

Here are two projects through the SC Progressive Network: 

The Modjeska Simkins School 

The school was launched in 2015 in an effort to teach South Carolinians the unpopularized side of history for our state. Named after SC human rights activist Modjeska Monteith Simkins, the school is a place for everyone to learn about history in the context of race, gender, economic inequality, and sexual orientation. The school is growing a grassroots network of new leaders by teaching them skills to build healthy communities and updating social laws.

○  Fair Maps SC Coalition 

The coalition is a nonpartisan grass roots campaign led by organizations and individual advocates across the state working to end gerrymandering. In 2018, after a year of research, the SC Progressive Network’s Education Fund introduced the Citizens Redistricting Commission Act and other legislation for a constitutional amendment to empower citizens to draw political maps rather than lawmakers.

This is not an exhaustive list of all the organizations supporting the black community in Columbia. Tell us any we missed here