University of South Carolina expands civil rights education

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) – The University of South Carolina received a gift of $1.5 million to expand its civil rights education. 

UofSC’s Center for Civil Rights History and Research Director and History Professor Bobby Donaldson says the $1.5 million from Williams Companies, an energy infrastructure company, will help fund travel and permanent exhibits and student learning throughout South Carolina classrooms. 

“Your gift gives us a new platform to use this history, we will use it in training teachers, we’ll use it in shaping young minds, we will use it building exhibits, we’ll use it in developing new collections,” says Donaldson.

UofSC Interim President Harris Pastides says there are a lot of tears that continue to be shed over the racial history of the state and nation but today there is more to celebrate. “This is a celebration because we are about to continue the good works of unearthing, uncovering, and un-shielding the history of our beloved state and telling the truth because the truth shall set us free.”

According to Pastides, the gift would not have happened without Kelly Adams who is a UofSC alumna and employee of Williams. Adams says there was no hesitation or reservation when she brought the idea to her colleagues.

“At Williams our giving philosophy is to support the communities where our employees live and work,” said Scott Hallam who is the Senior Vice President of Williams Companies.

Adams says the project is a labor of love that will educate and inspire young African Americans. 

“Representation matters and if you don’t know the stories of the past  – I don’t want to say you’re doomed to repeat – but you don’t know what you can be, you don’t know how hard people fought for me to be standing here, and for you to be standing there. It’s a good thing,” says Adams.


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