What is Speaking Down Barriers?
Speaking Down Barriers is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that transforms our life together across our differences by facilitating community dialogue, training, performances, and consultation. Our vision is of a world where all people are confronting and healing the wounds of difference, including race, gender, class, religion, national identity, and sexual orientation. Rather than our differences be a source of division, they are a source of our collective strength.
How has Speaking Down Barriers grown?
- Begun Nov. 2013 in Spartanburg, SC as a monthly community conversation on racism
- Increased civic engagement, growing from averaging 20 citizens in attendance to averaging 65 citizens. Many gatherings have exceeded over 100 participants.
- Hosted one-time Community Gatherings for the City of Greenville, NC; the City of Spartanburg, SC; college campuses including Converse College and USC Upstate; and for organizations in Charleston, SC; Seneca, SC; and Hot Springs, NC.
Intensives and Trainings
- Component added in 2015, offering expert training to community citizens and local nonprofits on accessing their individual and organizational strengths in order to improve issues of race and poverty in communities
- Four trainings provided since July 2015; more than 80 citizens and professionals trained
- Reading for Transformation study group launched in January 2016, providing a public forum to discuss challenging books on racism, difference, and community
- Featured approximately 20 spoken word poets from across South Carolina
- Created an online platform for local spoken word poets to share their original work
- Offered talks and spoken word poetry around anti-racism in various settings, including workplaces, community events, churches, colleges, and the TEDx stage
- Provided consultation to individuals, clergy groups, non-profits and community organizations in Spartanburg, Greenville, Charleston, and Seneca, SC; and Eugene, OR.
Where is Speaking Down Barriers going?
Speaking Down Barriers offers an innovative model of transformation. This model is replicable to other communities across the nation, making Spartanburg a leader in anti-oppression based community change. Currently, an organization in Dallas, TX as well as a grassroots group in Eugene, OR are both engaging Speaking Down Barriers regarding partnership and model replication. With a strong, diverse Board of Directors, Speaking Down Barriers is headed in an unprecedented direction to transform our life together.
To partner with us, contact us at Speaking Down Barriers. Our differences are our strength. Join with us to transform our life together.