Removing our Blinders: Confessions of a Small Town Mayor with Bill Barnet

Thursday, April 1, 2021
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM (EDT)

I am approaching my 79th year. Having been raised in upstate New York, I moved to Spartanburg 45 years ago. I was in business for many years, then served as mayor for eight years.

The city of Spartanburg (pop. 39,000) is rather unique, in that its population has historically been, and continues to be, nearly half white and half African American.

For, the past ten years I have been part of a team trying to re-envision a low wealth neighborhood with poor infrastructure, high crime and scant opportunity for upward mobility.

That is my story.

I hope to share with you lessons private and public life.

To explore with you, in a conversation, the realities of our society in 2021, and the real challenges this society presents for so many of our citizens, particularly those of color.

The lack of opportunity and restrictions on upward mobility brought about by racial inequities will not benefit any of our children. The answer lies in education, but it must be accompanied by a comprehensive, multi-generational effort.

This is my goal for our hour together. I look forward to joining you. 

Bill Barnet

Please take a few minutes before our time together to read this article by my friend Dr Russell Booker.

Want to know more about Bill? Read his bio on The Duke Endowment Trustee page. 

Sponsored by:

Duke Energy - Wikipedia 

Greenville, SC - Official Website

Attendees (135)

Abby Harwell

Communications Specialist VISTA

United Way of the Piedmont

Ann Warner


Women's Rights and Empowerment Network

Ashley Whitt

Senior Program Officer

Spartanburg County Foundation

Bea Walters-Smith

Executive Director

Spartanburg Community College Foundation

Beth De Santis


Fact Forward

Brenda Shaw

Chief Development Officer

Lowcountry Food Bank

Carmeisha White

Operations Manager

Northside Development Group

Carol Reeves

Executive Director

Just Say Something

Charm Lowe

Administrative Assistant

Spartanburg Community College Foundation

Crishell Bass

Career Counselor

SC Department of Education

Darlene Paradise

Director of Development

Dickerson Children's Advocacy Center

Dawn Dowden

Chief Operating Officer

Homes of Hope

Debbie Cooper

Director of Donor Services

Community Foundation of Greenville

Diane Smock

Community volunteer (former elected official)

Community volunteer

Ernest Brown


North Central Family Medicine

Gabrielle Yarborough

Development Director

East Cooper Habitat for Humanity, Inc.

Geales Sands

Executive Director

Frances P. Bunnelle Foundation

Greta Young

Executive Director

The Parenting Place

Hannah Horne

VP of Public Policy and Programs

Hilton Head Island Bluffton Chamber

Heather Witt

Vice President of Community Impact

United Way of the Piedmont

Holly Raines

Volunteer and Development VISTA

St. Luke's Free Medical Clinic

Jaclyn Kohlhepp

CEO, JTK Consulting LLC

JTK Consulting LLC

Jennifer Gregg

Executive Director

USTA South Carolina

Jessica Harrell

Senior Director, Programs & Services

USTA South Carolina

John Concklin


Institute for Child Success

Jordan Wolfe

Executive Director

Hub City Farmers' Market

Judy Wilson

Director of Development

Greenville Tech Foundation, Inc.

Julie Hussey


Civic Communications LLC

Justine Allen

Program & Event Coordinator

Ten at the Top

Kaela Hammond

Program & Compliance Manager

Coastal Community Foundation of SC

Kaky Grant


Grant Philanthropic Advisors

Karen Nichols

Stewardship Officer

The Spartanburg County Foundation

Kati McArdle

Grants Manager

Coastal Conservation League

Kayleigh Vaughn

Exhibits & Programs Director

Morris Center for Lowcountry Heritage

Keisha Gray

Program Director, Early Childhood Development

Mary Black Foundation

Kevin Patten

Vice President for Finance & Administration

Central Carolina Community Foundation

Kim Atchley

Director of Communications

Spartanburg Academic Movement

Kimberly Martinez-Ward


Compass of Carolina

Laura Allen

Executive Director

Children's Cancer Partners of the Carolinas

Laura Ringo

Executive Director

Partners for Active Living

Lesa Kastler

Community Foundation of Greenville

Leslie Stroud-Romero - 1

Independent Grant Writer

Leslie Stroud-Romero

Lisa Colby

Executive Director

American Red Cross

Lynn Hutto

HR/Management Consultant

Greater Columbia Community Relations Council

M Williamson


Northside Development Group

Macy Whitener

Communications Coordinator

Arras Foundation

Mamie Nicholson


The Self Family Foundation

Mandy Black

Executive Director

Little Steps

Mary Hipp

Board Chair

Feed & Seed

Matt Roos

Vice President Investor Relations - Advancement


Maya Pack

Executive Director

South Carolina Institute of Medicine & Public Health

Megan Reilly

Development Director

Charleston Pro Bono Legal Services

Melissa Ladd

Owner, Facilitator


Michael Brown

Executive Director

Sustaining Way

Minor Mickel Shaw


Daniel-Mickel Foundation

Natalia Valenzuela Swanson

Program Director, Healthy Eating & Active Learning

Mary Black Foundation

Paige Stephenson

President & CEO

United Way of the Piedmont

Pam Temple

Program Director

Arras Foundation

Paulette Dunn

Chief Operating Officer

United Housing Connections

Quinn Hayes

Director of Women in Philanthropy

Harvest Hope Food Bank

Rachel Hui-Hubbard

Program Coordinator

The Early Learning Partnership of York County

Rhonda Obanion

Manager, Media Relations

Dominion Energy

Richard Puffer

Executive Director

The Byerly Foundation

Selena Anderson

Director, Human Resources

Girl Scouts of South Carolina - Mountains to Midlands


Grants Coordinator

Spartanburg Community College Foundation

Sheila Snoddy

Director of Partnerships and Civic Engagement

Spartanburg County Foundation

Sherry Gilliam

Executive Director

Charleston County First Steps to School Readiness

Shonette Dargan Richardson

Shelter Director

Pee Dee Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Assa

Sue Williams


Children's Trust of SC

Susan DeVenny


Arras Foundation

Susie Shannon


South Carolina Council on Competitiveness

Tamara Herring

Executive Director

Morris Center for Lowcountry Heritage

Tamela Spann

Vice President, Strategic Initiatives

Hollingsworth Funds

Tami Barlow

Director of Operations

Charleston Promise Neighborhood

Tatjana Beylotte

Executive Director

Charleston Jazz

Terri Lottchea

Operations Manger

Frances P. Bunnelle Foundation

Tish McCutchen


Jolley Foundation

Tom Swanciger

Executive Director

Father to Father, Inc.

Tommy Blackmon

Founder and CEO

Nonprofit Transformation

Travis Williams

Founder & Executive Director

African American Prosperity Network

Troy Hanna


The Spartanburg County Foundation

Veyounder Brown

Volunteer Outreach Director

Lighthouse Ministries

Wendi Andrews

Food Bank of Greenwood County

Wilma Moore

Highland Community Outreach Advocate

United Way of the Piedmont

Yolanda McCray

President & CEO

Black River United Way

50 Other Registered Attendees

Presented by:

Bill Barnet

Barnet Development

For More Information:

Debbie Nelson

Debbie Nelson

President and Founder, DNA Creative Communications