January 20, 2023

The week of January 9, 2023, was an important week for Columbia College and its consistent efforts to provide opportunities to emphasize service, social justice, and leadership. On Wednesday, January 11, 2023, the College hosted Zonta Club of Columbia for a Human Trafficking Information Panel that included representatives from the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, Lighthouse for Life, the South Carolina Department of Labor, and a survivor of human trafficking in South Carolina, along with a presentation from a representative from the Attorney General’s Office. This event was held in Spears Concert Hall and open to the public to increase awareness regarding this growing national and local concern. 

Following the events of Wednesday, the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Community Resources hosted the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Celebration for the Columbia College community on Friday, January 13, 2023. The event was co-sponsored and funded by the Alternative Pathways to Educator Certification (APEC) program and the College’s Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee. As part of the celebration, students, faculty, and staff were invited to watch and participate in The Defamation Experience presented by Canamac Productions, which explored issues surrounding race, gender, class, and religion. This experience encouraged genuine conversation between Columbia College community members requiring them to act as the jury deliberating over laws and topics that continue to divide our nation today. Participants continued their discussions long after the verdict was delivered filling the Concert Hall with conversations about systemic change and hope that the Rev. Dr. King’s dream of the Beloved Community is possible indeed. 

Through these events and other consistent efforts from the campus community, Columbia College seeks to close the gaps of misunderstanding that lead to division and injustice. 

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