Removing Our Blinders: A Year After George Floyd's Murder - Do You See Now?

Thursday, September 9, 2021
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM (EDT)
Zoom - Register for the Meeting Info!
Category: Removing Our Blinders

Forrest Alton was born and raised in a small town in Upstate New York, spent more than two decades in South Carolina, and is now a resident of Memphis, TN. Forrest's personal experiences and lessons from every step of that journey have helped to inform his passion, values, and work. 

In addition to his own personal experiences, he is also a big fan of Simon Sinek and his work around “starting with why”—both at the personal and organizational level. In nearly every client engagement with 1000 Feathers, Forrest and his team trace conversations back to this very fundamental and foundational place.

What is the purpose or cause that drives you?

Like Sinek, they are believers that it is only when individuals and organizations know the answer to this question, at a deep level, that they can find clarity and fulfillment.

Clarity and meaning are needed to help guide us through challenge and success, through grief and celebration, and to help us understand when we must stand up and speak out for the things we believe in.

In this moment, even standing up and speaking out feels insufficient and short of action. In other words, our organizational statements on race, equity, and inclusion are not enough.

We have to push further, develop a clear understanding of our purpose in this world, be willing to listen with the intention of more clearly understanding the challenges being faced by our brothers and sisters of color, remove our blinders, and most importantly, be courageous enough to do something about what we see and hear.

In 2020 Forrest posted a message on Facebook in response to the murder of George Floyd. So much has happened in our country in the fifteen months since and we are continually reminded of how much work is left to be done. Forrest's powerful post ultimately became a blog on the 1000 Feathers website. He often goes back to reread the post as a way to reflect and check in on his own learning

Please give it a read before we gather for Removing Our Blinders.

Watch a few of Forrest’s Speaking Engagements

TedTalk - Changing the Lives of Teenagers: Forrest Alton at TEDxColumbia

Midlands Anchor Interview - Taking the ‘Non’ out of Nonprofit

Commencement Speech at LaFargeville Central High School

Attendees (70)

Aaron Stroud-Romero

VP of Field Operations

OneWorld Health

Abby Harwell

Communications Specialist VISTA

United Way of the Piedmont

Adia Daniels

Education and Outreach manager

Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands

Alana Jordan

Development & Membership Director

Justice 360

Alecia Klauk

Executive Director

Chapin We Care Center

Alexis Rhodes

Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands

Allison Safford

Strategic Initiatives Officer

Hollingsworth Funds

Alyssa McKenzie

Development Officer

Chapman Cultural Center

Amy Splittgerber

Executive Director

Healthy Learners

Ashley Nelson

Program & Communications Officer

Frances P. Bunnelle Foundation/LGS

Avis Wright

Partner Engagement Manager

Fact Forward

Brooke Robertson

Graphic Designer | Developer

Neue South Collective

Bryant Davis

Assistant Director of Government & Community Serv

Richland County Government and Community Services

Carol Reeves

Executive Director

Just Say Something

Carol Singletary

Outreach and Special Project Coordinator

Fact Forward

Carrie Silver


Bridges to a Brighter Future/Furman University

Cassandra Jackson

Founder/Principal Strategist

2911 Creative LLC

Darlene Paradise

Director of Development

Dickerson Children's Advocacy Center

Debbie Nelson

President and Founder

DNA Creative Communications

Denise Marcano

College Health Education Coordinator

Fact Forward

Donna Mack

Executive Director

South Carolina Community Health Worker Association

Duchett Polite Hylton

Executive Director

Jasper County First Steps

Ebony Young

Diversity Equity & Inclusion Chair

Shifting Solutions Consulting LLC / Junior League of Columbia

Elisabeth Litvin

Board Director

Miss Ruby's Kids

Elmire Raven

East Cooper Community Outreach

Erin Johnson

Vice President for Community Investment

Central Carolina Community Foundation

Ferlecia Cuthbertson

Chief Philanthropy Officer /ED

Barnwell County United Way

Greta Young

Executive Director

The Parenting Place

Heather Witt

Vice President of Community Impact

United Way of the Piedmont

Icelynn Baldwin

Quality Improvement Manager

Children's Trust of SC

Jennifer Bozard

Chief Operating Officer

One80 Place

Jennifer DeWitt

Chief Community Programs Officer

Lowcountry Food Bank

Joelle Ryan-Cook

Deputy Director

Columbia Museum of Art

John Browne-1

Executive Director

Vital Connections of the Midlands, Inc.

Julie Hussey


Civic Communications LLC

Kat Hanold

Director of First Impressions & Logistics

Spartanburg County Foundation

Kathy Jenkins

Executive Director

Orangeburg County First Steps

Kathy Ridge


Lift Connection

Kayleigh Vaughn

Exhibits & Programs Director

Morris Center for Lowcountry Heritage

Keisha Gray

Program Director, Early Childhood Development

Mary Black Foundation

Kimberly Humphrey

GCS Relations Associate

Richland County Government and Community Services

LaKisha Bowman

Engagement Manager

Benefits Data Trust

Lanita Bolden

Founder / President

GMAN Scholarship Foundation

LaQuinta West

Deputy Director

Dorchester Seniors, Inc.

Larry Salley

Executive Director

Greater Columbia Community Relations Council

LaTonya Boyd

Executive Director

Chester County First Steps

Leigh Thomson

Executive Director

Dorchester Seniors, Inc.

Lily Averkamp


Leeza's Care Connection

Liz Evans

Fund Development Manager

First Presbyterian Church Spartanburg

Luanne Rodgers

Chief Philanthropy and Mission Advancement Officer

Windwood Family Services

Lynn Hutto

HR/Management Consultant

Greater Columbia Community Relations Council

Nicole Echols

Director of External Affairs

Harvest Hope Food Bank

Sarah Goode

Prevention Education Coordinator

Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands

Steven Burritt

Executive Director

Mothers Against Drunk Driving

Sue Williams


Children's Trust of SC

Tamara Herring

Executive Director

Morris Center for Lowcountry Heritage

Tami Barlow

Director of Operations

Charleston Promise Neighborhood

Tatjana Beylotte

Executive Director

Charleston Jazz

Terri Lottchea

Operations Manger

Frances P. Bunnelle Foundation

11 Other Registered Attendees

For More Information:

Debbie Nelson

Debbie Nelson

President and Founder, DNA Creative Communications