Creating Change As One Community

March 16, 2015


By JoAnn Turnquist


Did you know that the “case of the century” began in South Carolina?  In the late 1940s, residents of Clarendon County decided it was time for change.  Rev. De Laine and his community were tired of the inequality in their children’s education and began working together to create a better life for the future generations.  The community filed a lawsuit that demanded the end of separate, unequal schools.  The final result? A landmark case, Briggs v. Elliot, that led to the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education lawsuit and the Supreme Court declaration that segregated public schools are unconstitutional.

Rev. De Laine’s story proves that when a community joins together for a common cause, great things happen.  When we have the courage to stand up for what we believe in as one collective group, our resources and our impact are increased.  We all bring different strengths to our community.  Each additional voice amplifies a message, each person contributes one more helping hand, and each group reaches a larger network.  When we pool our resources and give together, the impact increases exponentially.

Consider what happened in May of last year on our first Midlands Gives Day.  3,747 individuals came together to support nonprofit organizations across the Midlands and, through their online donations,increased the philanthropic pie by over $704,000.  Every day at the Community Foundation, we have the pleasure of helping bring people together in the community and seeing the positive effect this creates.  Please plan to join us again on May 5th for Midlands Gives Day 2015.  Together, we will make a difference.

I also encourage you to visit the COURAGE exhibit at the State Museum.  From now until June 21st, The State Museum is telling the Clarendon County story through the traveling exhibit COURAGE: The Vision to End Segregation, the Guts to Fight for It.  This exhibit reminds us of how working together as one community can create lasting change for future generations.





JoAnn M. Turnquist is the President & CEO of Central Carolina Community Foundation, a nonprofit organization that links charitable people and businesses with areas of need in the Midlands. To learn more about the Foundation and view more blog posts, visit


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