Social Justice, Racial Equity Collaborative (SJREC): Transforming from the Inside Out

Social Justice, Racial Equity Collaborative Council and Engagement Partners

Our Framework:
We recognize the urgent need for systemic change around racial justice in Charleston. We are cognizant of the widely shared feeling that conversation is not enough. In creating the Social Justice, Racial Equity from the Inside Out Collaborative, The Sophia Institute seeks to convene and align respective goals, resources, and audiences to maximize collective impact for Social Justice and Racial Equity.

Our Vision:
A just, sustainable, and thriving community where ALL people are empowered to fulfill their human potential.

Our Mission:
Through collaboration we mobilize clear interventions for truth, healing, and transformation to advance social justice and racial equity in our community.

Our Agenda:
Our agenda is simple; we want to influence social justice and racial equity in Charleston. Over the next 3-5 years, we will work to:

1.Address truth, healing, and transformation and bring about systemic change in our community
2.Support and lead vital conversations that lead to actionable strategy and policy improvement forpeople of color in the areas of education, policing, gun violence prevention, healthcare, housing,economic justice, and expansion of voting rights and democracy
3.Develop culturally competent leaders who understand the rich and complex racial history of ourcommunity and are empowered to act with an equity lens
4.Promote racial equity while creating a new legacy of social justice within Charleston

Our Approach:
Working from the inside out, we recognize that a healthy, diverse and inclusive community grows out of an acknowledgement of our interdependence and shared humanity. Using a collaborative approach, we convene leaders and thought-partners across race, gender and generations to resolve historical and contemporary barriers to access and opportunities for people of color. By addressing the challenges that emerge from structural and institutional racism, we are transforming Charleston into a more just and equitable place to live, work and thrive.

Our work will focus on:

  • Engaging existing and future community initiatives and leadership groups through the process of Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation to foster a new understanding and expand perspectives so that the impact of their work becomes more equitable for all
  • Engage the larger community to foster understanding through national thought leaders for social justice and racial equity
  • Embark on the Living Your Truth series to engage local well-respected community leaders with their perspectives on Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation to deepen the understanding of the complexities of our racial past and provide a vision of hope for a more compassionate future.


Our Impact:

Through collaboration with our Council and Engagement Partners, we create alignment and support to existing effective community initiatives addressing social justice and racial equity in the following areas:

1.Access to quality education for all     
2.Ending discriminatory policing          
3.Gun violence prevention                     
4. Access to affordable and adequate healthcare
5. Assure housing affordability wages                                                                    
6. Expand Voting Rights
7. Economic justice and competitive 

Our Invitation: Join us by investing in a socially just and racially equitable Charleston. Your support benefits the lives now and for future generations to come. For more Information on how you can engage in this movement, please contact Carolyn Rivers at 843-720-8528 or info@thesophiainstitute.org or Barbara Kelley-Duncan at kelleyduncan@bellsouth.net.

Proposed Structure:

  • Leadership Team (8): Charter the infrastructure and guide the initiative
  • Racial Justice Council (35+): Unify decisions and lead the initiative and programs and events
  • Engagement Partners (40 +): Help inform and promote the initiatives and attend programs and events
  • Greater Charleston Leadership (300 +): Attend programs and events and cascade initiatives.

Social Justice, Racial Equity Collaborative Council, and Engagement Partners