The Hive Community Circle attends “Communities in Action: Building a Better South Carolina” hosted by the White House

May 9, 2023

Joined by elected officials and community leaders from South Carolina (SC), The Hive Community Circle (The Hive) Executive Director, Ashley Thomas, attended the event “Communities in Action: Building a Better South Carolina”, hosted by the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and the Office of Public Engagement in Washington, DC. The event took place Thursday, May 4th, at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Executive Office Building, where participants shared the impact of the Biden-Harris Administration in their community and on the issues that matter most to South Carolinians.

“I’m beyond humbled and honored to represent the great state of SC and The Hive Community Circle on Capital Hill at the White House today. When I started The Hive, eight years ago, it was for a simple yet critical need to elevate and center the needs and voices of Black and brown and other marginalized survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking in SC. My presence here directly results from the impact and critical need The Hive fulfills in survivors’ lives.”, communicated Ms. Thomas during the Communities in Action Story Sharing segment included in the agenda.

Last year, The Hive became the first culturally specific organization working with survivors to receive the “Enhance Culturally Specific Services for Victims of Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking” grant in SC from the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Office; which creates a unique opportunity for culturally specific community-based organizations to address the critical needs of survivors of domestic/sexual violence in a manner that affirms their culture and effectively addresses language and communication barriers. This action secured the expansion of The Hive’s Bilingual and Legal Advocacy and increased the capital towards the organization’s Economic Justice Program, ensuring survivors’ stability and accessibility.

During the half-day forum, attendees heard from Biden-Harris Administration officials, including Vice President, Kamala Harris; Senior Advisor to the President of the United States and former Mayor of Columbia, Stephen Benjamin; Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg; Secretary of Energy, Jennifer Granholm; among other members of the administration.

While highlighting the impact of Biden-Harris programs in The Hive’s community and the benefits they have brought to survivors of color in SC, the Executive Director exclaimed: “I’m grateful that the Biden-Harris Administration is centering culturally specific services as part of the Violence Against Women Act and American Rescue Plan Act funding while highlighting the impact SC community leaders, such as myself, make working on behalf of their communities to create opportunities and improve people’s everyday lives.”

After the meeting, the Director met with Senior Advisor on Gender-Based Violence and Special Assistant to the President, Rosie Hidalgo, and Senior Advisor, Gabriela Cristobal, to address the work The Hive is leading in SC towards attaining Gender Justice, Racial Equity, and centering the safety and well-being of survivors of abuse and violence.

The Hive is a local, culturally specific peer advocacy organization serving survivors who have experienced sexual assault, intimate partner violence, and stalking in SC.


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