Columbia Urban League honors district employee with social justice award

November 15, 2022

Dr. Helen Nelson Grant, Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer for Richland School District Two, is the 2022 recipient of the Stephen G. Morrison/Nelson Mullins Social Justice Award. The award is named in honor of Morrison, former partner of Nelson Mullins Law Firm and past chair of the Columbia Urban League Board of Directors. Morrison used his legal skills to advance social justice and equal opportunity for the disadvantaged and underserved before his passing in 2013.

The Columbia Urban League presented Dr. Grant with the award Tuesday, November 8 at its 55th Equal Opportunity Day Dinner held at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. This year’s theme was “Promoting Minority Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Equal Opportunity.”

“I am honored to receive recognition for my work in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion under the name of Mr. Morrison and social justice. I admired his commitment to improving the education system for all students in South Carolina, especially those in counties with few financial resources. As a community, it is important to make sure every student receives the opportunities and support needed to maximize their gifts and talents so they may pursue pathways to purpose,” said Dr. Grant.

Dr. Grant has been serving in her current role in Richland Two since 2015. She is responsible for recommending, developing, implementing and managing programs and initiatives aimed at advancing diversity and multicultural inclusion. She serves as the chief advisor to the Superintendent in the development and implementation of diversity and multicultural practices and initiatives and she is the district’s chief spokesperson and district representative for diversity and multicultural matters. Her work includes providing professional development to district staff; coordinating and implementing district-wide cultural celebrations; and advising administrators on issues or concerns regarding diversity and inclusion.

Dr. Grant earned her J.D. degree from Duke University School of Law and her undergraduate degree from Columbia College.  She has been a licensed attorney in South Carolina for nearly 40 years.  Columbia Business Monthly recently named her the Best Diversity & Inclusion Officer of the Year for their 2021 South Carolina Best in Business Awards.