Removing our Blinders: Why White Leaders Must Listen and Learn

Thursday, December 3, 2020
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM (EST)

Join Melanie Huggins, Executive Director of the Richland Library and Immediate Past Chair of the Together SC Board of Directors on Thursday, December 3 at 9:00 to discuss why white leaders must listen to and learn from their staff of color.

As a white leader of a very diverse organization that prioritizes racial equity internally and in all of its community work, Melanie realized over the past months there was still much to learn. This candid conversation will focus on how white leaders must engage their staff of color and truly listen. With this knowledge, these leaders must then acknowledge their blindspots and commit to strengthening their understanding of racial and social justice. This session will focus on why these steps are critical in order to effectively take personal, organizational and community action.

In preparation for this conversation, please read these pieces:

"Your Black Colleagues May Look Like They're Okay - Chances Are They're Not" by Danielle Cadet

Moving Beyond Diversity Toward Racial Equity by Ben Hecht

You will leave this conversation with answers to the following:

  • What did I struggle with most when considering today’s topic? Why?
  • How can I apply today’s topic to me, my organization and my community?
  • What will I do differently as a result of today’s topic?
  • How did today’s topic help me better understand racism and white privilege?

Richland Library offers an extensive list of resources (books, videos, podcasts, articles, websites, social media, events, etc.) on its website for individuals to use to start an honest internal dialog and conversations with others about race, equity and inclusion. The Library encourages community members to get to know themselves, their neighbors and the community at large by using the many tools that have made available at

Sponsored by:

Duke Energy - Wikipedia 

Greenville, SC - Official Website

Attendees (111)

Allison Safford

Strategic Initiatives Officer

Hollingsworth Funds

Amelia Phillips Hale

Creative Manager

Engaging Creative Minds

Andy Hall


AID Upstate

Anita Case

Executive Director

Affinity Health Center

Ann Warner



Armilla Moore

Executive Director

Family Promise of Pickens County

Ashley Redmond

Executive Director/Chief Development Officer

Roper St. Francis Foundation

Beth De Santis


Fact Forward

Britney Mazyck

Operations Manager

Community Initiatives, Inc.

Caprice Atterbury


Origin SC

Carl Humphries


HopeHealth Inc

Carole Swiecicki

Chief Program Officer

Dee Norton Lowcountry Children's Center, Inc.

Catherine Puckett

Program Director

Nonprofit Alliance

Cathleen DeCourcy

Executive Assistant

Real Champions Inc

Cindi Solomon


Operation Sight

Crystal Campbell

Executive Director

Dorchester County First Steps

Debbie Cooper

Director of Donor Services

Community Foundation of Greenville

Dodi Hodges

Executive Director

Palmetto Literacy Council

Donna Ortega

Founder and Owner


Ellen Blake

Director of Operations

Lowcountry Land Trust

Erin Fisher

Global Engagement - South Carolina

The Boeing Company

Gabrielle Yarborough

Development Director

East Cooper Habitat for Humanity, Inc.

Greta Young

Executive Director

The Parenting Place

Helen Rogers

Director of Operations

Lowcountry Land Trust

Holly Raines

Volunteer and Development VISTA

St. Luke's Free Medical Clinic

Jessica Harrell

Senior Director, Programs & Services

USTA South Carolina

JoAnn Turnquist


Central Carolina Community Foundation

Judy Wilson

Director of Development

Greenville Tech Foundation, Inc.

Karen Kuse

Head of School

Montessori School of Columbia

Karen Oliver

ECAC Program Manager

United Way of the Midlands

Kathy Jackson

New Business Development


Kati McArdle

Grants Manager

Coastal Conservation League

Katy Smith

Executive Director

Piedmont Health Foundation

Kevin Patten

Vice President for Finance & Administration

Central Carolina Community Foundation

Kimberly Martinez-Ward


Compass of Carolina

Leigh Thomson

Executive Director

Dorchester Seniors, Inc.

Lenora Lefew

Volunteer and Development Coordinator

Harvest Hope Food Bank

Lynn Hutto

HR/Management Consultant

Greater Columbia Community Relations Council

Maggie Kalergis

Donor Relations Manager

Lowcountry Land Trust

Mandy Black

Executive Director

Little Steps

Mary Butz

Administration & Office Coordinator

Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative

Megan Reilly

Development Director

Charleston Pro Bono Legal Services

Megan Wildebour

Managing Director

PURE Theatre

Melanie Huggins

Executive Director

Richland Library

Oakley Dickson

Executive Director

Youth Corps

Paige Stephenson

President & CEO

United Way of the Piedmont

Pam Toney

Executive Direcotor

Bluffton Jasper Volunteers in Medicine

Peg Lahmeyer

Executive Director

The ARK of SC

Quinn Hayes

Director of Women in Philanthropy

Harvest Hope Food Bank

Rodney White, Jr

Social Work Intern

Together SC

Sally McClellan

SC Association for the Education of Young Children

Scott Gibbs

Vice Chairperson

Beaufort Arts Council

Shannon Farro

Executive Director

Long Bay Symphony

Stephanie Barrow

Relationship Manager

Trio Solutions Inc. (TRIO)

Stephanie Benjamin

Director of Programs and Communications

Lourie Center

Steven Burritt

Executive Director

Mothers Against Drunk Driving SC

Tamara Herring

Executive Director

Morris Center for Lowcountry Heritage

Terri Lottchea

Operations Manger

Frances P. Bunnelle Foundation

Tish McCutchen


Jolley Foundation

Vanessa Hill

Assistant ED for Operations

University of South Carolina Alumni Association

Walter Gary - 1


Upper Echelon Sports & Performance

Wanda Newkirk

Executive Director

Nazareth House Inc.

Yolanda Anderson

Development/Donor Manager

Midlands Mediation Center

48 Other Registered Attendees

Presented by:

Melanie Huggins, Executive Director

Richland Library

For More Information:

Debbie Nelson

Debbie Nelson

President and Founder, DNA Creative Communications