Spartanburg Northside Initiative receives Riley Institute’s OneSouthCarolina Partners in Progress Award

May 11, 2022

The initiative was recognized at a special forum in Columbia for advancing social and economic progress in South Carolina.

The Spartanburg Northside Initiative (SNI) received the inaugural OneSouthCarolina Partners in Progress Award from Furman University’s Riley Institute at the first annual Building OneSouthCarolina forum on May 10 in Columbia.

The annual award recognizes signature landmark achievements that have advanced social and economic progress in South Carolina. Former United States secretary of education and former South Carolina governor Dick Riley presented the award to the Northside Voyagers, a group of resident leaders, and other SNI principals after they spoke in a series of panels about the origins, successes, failures, and future of the initiative.

SNI, one of the nation’s most ambitious neighborhood revitalization efforts, has taken an “inside-out” approach to community transformation in working alongside Northside residents to address poverty and increase wellbeing and opportunity.

“The residents have a voice in how their community develops,” Riley said. “That voice is so important.”

The forum was attended by more than 200 leaders from across the state, many of whom sought to gain insight and inspiration relevant to their communities’ own complex challenges.

“We’re all in this room because we see a fractured world where opportunity doesn’t come to everybody,” said Bill Barnet, board chair of Northside Development Group and former Spartanburg mayor, who was one of seven speakers at the forum. “We want to make this place better.”

For more information, contact Katie Quine at 864.294.3368 or [email protected].


About the Riley Institute at Furman University 

Furman University’s Richard W. Riley Institute advances social and economic progress in South Carolina and beyond by building leadership for a diverse society, hosting expert speakers to broaden perspectives on critical issues, supporting public education, and creating knowledge through community solutions-focused research. It is committed to nonpartisanship in all it does and to a rhetoric-free, facts-based approach to change. Learn more at