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)

Yolanda Anderson

Development/Donor Manager

Midlands Mediation Center

Caprice Atterbury


Origin SC

Stephanie Barrow

Relationship Manager

Trio Solutions Inc. (TRIO)

Stephanie Benjamin

Director of Programs and Communications

Lourie Center

Mandy Black

Executive Director

Little Steps

Ellen Blake

Director of Operations

Lowcountry Land Trust

Steven Burritt

Executive Director

Mothers Against Drunk Driving SC

Mary Butz

Administration & Office Coordinator

Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative

Crystal Campbell

Executive Director

Dorchester County First Steps

Anita Case

Executive Director

Affinity Health Center

Debbie Cooper

Director of Donor Services

Community Foundation of Greenville

Beth De Santis


Fact Forward

Cathleen DeCourcy

Executive Assistant

Real Champions Inc

Oakley Dickson


Youth Corps

Shannon Farro

Executive Director

Long Bay Symphony

Erin Fisher

Global Engagement - South Carolina

The Boeing Company

Walter Gary - 1


Upper Echelon Sports & Performance

Scott Gibbs

Vice Chairperson

Beaufort Arts Council

Andy Hall


AID Upstate

Jessica Harrell

Managing Director, Programs & Services

USTA South Carolina

Quinn Hayes

Program & Grants Manager

Harvest Hope Food Bank

Tamara Herring

Executive Director

Morris Center for Lowcountry Heritage

Vanessa Hill

Assistant ED for Operations

University of South Carolina Alumni Association

Dodi Hodges

Executive Director

Palmetto Literacy Council

Melanie Huggins

Executive Director

Richland Library

Carl Humphries


HopeHealth Inc

Lynn Hutto

HR/Management Consultant

Greater Columbia Community Relations Council

Kathy Jackson

New Business Development


Maggie Kalergis

Donor Relations Manager

Lowcountry Land Trust

Karen Kuse

Head of School

Montessori School of Columbia

Peg Lahmeyer

Executive Director

The ARK of SC

Lenora Lefew

Volunteer and Development Coordinator

Harvest Hope Food Bank

Terri Lottchea

Operations Manger

Frances P. Bunnelle Foundation

Kimberly Martinez-Ward


Compass of Carolina

Britney Mazyck

Operations Manager

Community Initiatives, Inc.

Kati McArdle

Grants Manager

Coastal Conservation League

Sally McClellan

SC Association for the Education of Young Children

Tish McCutchen


Jolley Foundation

Armilla Moore

Executive Director

Family Promise of Pickens County

Wanda Newkirk

Executive Director

Nazareth House Inc.

Karen Oliver

ECAC Program Manager

United Way of the Midlands

Donna Ortega

Founder and Owner


Kevin Patten

Vice President for Finance & Administration

Central Carolina Community Foundation

Amelia Phillips Hale

Creative Manager

Engaging Creative Minds

Catherine Puckett

Program Director

Nonprofit Alliance

Holly Raines

Volunteer and Development VISTA

St. Luke's Free Medical Clinic

Ashley Redmond

Executive Director/Chief Development Officer

Roper St. Francis Foundation

Megan Reilly

Development Director

Charleston Pro Bono Legal Services

Helen Rogers

Director of Operations

Lowcountry Land Trust

Allison Safford

Strategic Initiatives Officer

Hollingsworth Funds

Katy Smith

Executive Director

Piedmont Health Foundation

Cindi Solomon

Board Member

Operation Sight

Paige Stephenson

President & CEO

United Way of the Piedmont

Carole Swiecicki

Chief Program Officer

Dee Norton Lowcountry Children's Center, Inc.

Leigh Thomson

Executive Director

Dorchester Seniors, Inc.

Pam Toney

Executive Direcotor

Bluffton Jasper Volunteers in Medicine

JoAnn Turnquist


Central Carolina Community Foundation

Ann Warner



Rodney White, Jr

Social Work Intern

Together SC

Megan Wildebour

Managing Director

PURE Theatre

Judy Wilson

Director of Development

Greenville Tech Foundation, Inc.

Gabrielle Yarborough

Development Director

East Cooper Habitat for Humanity, Inc.

Greta Young

Executive Director

The Parenting Place

48 Other Registered Attendees

Presented by:

Melanie Huggins, Executive Director

Richland Library