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 (134)

Justine Allen

Program & Event Coordinator

Ten at the Top

Laura Allen

Executive Director

Children's Cancer Partners of the Carolinas

Selena Anderson

Director, Human Resources

Girl Scouts of South Carolina - Mountains to Midlands

Wendi Andrews

Food Bank of Greenwood County

Kim Atchley

Director of Communications

Spartanburg Academic Movement

Tami Barlow

Director of Operations

Charleston Promise Neighborhood

Crishell Bass

Career Counselor

SC Department of Education

Tatjana Beylotte

Executive Director

Charleston Jazz

Mandy Black

Executive Director

Little Steps

Tommy Blackmon

Founder and CEO

Nonprofit Transformation

Ernest Brown


North Central Family Medicine

Michael Brown

Executive Director

Sustaining Way

Veyounder Brown

Volunteer Outreach Director

Lighthouse Ministries

Lisa Colby

Executive Director

American Red Cross

John Concklin


Institute for Child Success

Debbie Cooper

Director of Donor Services

Community Foundation of Greenville

Shonette Dargan Richardson

Shelter Director

Pee Dee Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Assa

Beth De Santis


Fact Forward

Susan DeVenny


Arras Foundation

Dawn Dowden

Chief Operating Officer

Homes of Hope

Paulette Dunn

Chief Operating Officer

United Housing Connections

Sherry Gilliam

Executive Director

Charleston County First Steps to School Readiness

Kaky Grant


Grant Philanthropic Advisors

Keisha Gray

Program Director, Early Childhood Development

Mary Black Foundation

Jennifer Gregg

Executive Director

USTA South Carolina

Kaela Hammond

Program & Compliance Manager

Coastal Community Foundation of SC

Troy Hanna


The Spartanburg County Foundation

Jessica Harrell

Managing Director, Programs & Services

USTA South Carolina

Abby Harwell

Communications Specialist VISTA

United Way of the Piedmont

Quinn Hayes

Program & Grants Manager

Harvest Hope Food Bank

Tamara Herring

Executive Director

Morris Center for Lowcountry Heritage

Mary Hipp

Board Chair

Feed & Seed

Hannah Horne

VP of Public Policy and Programs

Hilton Head Island Bluffton Chamber

Rachel Hui-Hubbard

Executive Director

The Early Learning Partnership of York County

Julie Hussey


Civic Communications LLC

Lynn Hutto

HR/Management Consultant

Greater Columbia Community Relations Council

Lesa Kastler

Community Foundation of Greenville

Jaclyn Kohlhepp

CEO, JTK Consulting LLC

JTK Consulting LLC

Melissa Ladd

Owner, Facilitator


Terri Lottchea

Operations Manger

Frances P. Bunnelle Foundation

Charm Lowe

Administrative Assistant

Spartanburg Community College Foundation

Kimberly Martinez-Ward


Compass of Carolina


Grants Coordinator

Spartanburg Community College Foundation

Kati McArdle

Grants Manager

Coastal Conservation League

Yolanda McCray

President & CEO

Black River United Way

Tish McCutchen


Jolley Foundation

Wilma Moore

Highland Community Engagement Coordinator

United Way of the Piedmont

Karen Nichols

Stewardship Officer

The Spartanburg County Foundation

Mamie Nicholson


The Self Family Foundation

Rhonda Obanion

Manager, Media Relations

Dominion Energy

Maya Pack

Executive Director

South Carolina Institute of Medicine & Public Health

Darlene Paradise

Director of Development

Dickerson Children's Advocacy Center

Kevin Patten

Vice President for Finance & Administration

Central Carolina Community Foundation

Richard Puffer

Fmr. Executive Director

The Byerly Foundation

Holly Raines

Volunteer and Development VISTA

St. Luke's Free Medical Clinic

Carol Reeves

Executive Director

Just Say Something

Megan Reilly

Development Director

Charleston Pro Bono Legal Services

Laura Ringo

Executive Director

Partners for Active Living

Matt Roos

Vice President Investor Relations - Advancement


Geales Sands

Executive Director

Frances P. Bunnelle Foundation

Susie Shannon


South Carolina Council on Competitiveness

Brenda Shaw

Chief Development Officer

Lowcountry Food Bank

Minor Mickel Shaw


Daniel-Mickel Foundation

Diane Smock

Community volunteer (former elected official)

Community volunteer

Sheila Snoddy

Director of Partnerships and Civic Engagement

Spartanburg County Foundation

Tamela Spann

Vice President, Strategic Initiatives

Hollingsworth Funds

Paige Stephenson

President & CEO

United Way of the Piedmont

Leslie Stroud-Romero - 1

Independent Grant Writer

Leslie Stroud-Romero

Tom Swanciger

Executive Director

Father to Father, Inc.

Pam Temple

Program Director

Arras Foundation

Natalia Valenzuela Swanson

Program Director, Healthy Eating & Active Learning

Mary Black Foundation

Kayleigh Vaughn

Exhibits & Programs Director

Morris Center for Lowcountry Heritage

Bea Walters-Smith

Executive Director

Spartanburg Community College Foundation

Ann Warner


Women's Rights and Empowerment Network

Carmeisha White

Operations Manager

Northside Development Group

Macy Whitener

Communications Coordinator

Arras Foundation

Ashley Whitt

Senior Program Officer

Spartanburg County Foundation

Sue Williams


Children's Trust of SC

Travis Williams

Founder & Executive Director

African American Prosperity Network

M Williamson


Northside Development Group

Judy Wilson

Director of Development

Greenville Tech Foundation, Inc.

Heather Witt

Executive Director

United Way of the Piedmont

Jordan Wolfe

Hub City Farmers' Market

Gabrielle Yarborough

Development Director

East Cooper Habitat for Humanity, Inc.

Greta Young

Executive Director

The Parenting Place

49 Other Registered Attendees

Presented by:

Bill Barnet

Barnet Development