The Community Remembrance Project of Greenville County (CRP) was born in 2019 as part of the broad-based community work being done by Bryan Stevenson’s Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) in Montgomery, AL. The CRP is a coalition of organizations and individuals that champions transformative change through education and restorative truth-telling. We collaborate with EJI to bring light to difficult racial history in our community.
Community Remembrance Projects are being established in counties all over the country, and especially in southern states, “to memorialize documented victims of racial violence and foster meaningful dialogue about race and justice.” We are so pleased that our colleagues at United Ministries are bringing Mr. Stevenson to Greenville to share his vision with our community.
Our core values at CRP include respect, authenticity, equity, open-mindedness, and courage. Accordingly, we partner with organizations that embrace those same values. United Ministries has a long history of bringing about transformative change in Greenville by focusing on Black and Brown people who have been historically and systematically disenfranchised. United Ministries has their fingers on the pulse of those who are most vulnerable in our community and works to disrupt the cycle of poverty through empowering those on a path to achieve education, housing, and employment.
What sets United Ministries apart is the compassionate way that their financial coaches, mental health counselors, GED tutors, and economic mobility partners work with clients. These coaches, counselors and tutors partner with clients to help them – the clients – determine what their goals are as they work to overcome obstacles that stand in the way of achieving economic mobility.
Bryan Stevenson’s work with EJI is also centered in compassionate care. Whether it is through their re-entry assistance or their work to remove obstacles like illegal convictions, unfair sentences (including extreme sentences for children) and abuse in state prisons and jails, the staff of EJI focuses on the person who is incarcerated.
Bryan Stevenson has witnessed the role that compassion plays in determining whether our criminal justice system reforms or harms those who are incarcerated. As he has said, “An absence of compassion can corrupt the decency of a community, a state, a nation. Fear and anger can make us vindictive and abusive, unjust and unfair until we all suffer from the absence of mercy and we condemn ourselves as much as we victimize others.”
The Community Remembrance Project of Greenville embraces the work being done by United Ministries because their staff and volunteers exhibit genuine compassion for people in Greenville. When you truly experience concern and compassion for other people, you feel their pain and you are compelled to take meaningful action to bring about transformative change.
For over 50 years, United Ministries has been on the front line, providing structure and guidance as the marginalized and disenfranchised work toward their personal goals. They have gone beyond just understanding the plight of Black and Brown people, they have put action behind it. Understanding occurs in the mind, but action happens in the body. United Ministries has cultivated compassion through their behavior, and it manifests in the number of people served, the participants empowered, and the lives transformed.
We encourage people in our community to partner with both United Ministries and the Community Remembrance Project of Greenville County to embody the spirit of compassion. We hope to see you at the Uniting for Change luncheon on April 13th where Bryan Stevenson will inspire us to create change in Greenville County. Learn more at united-ministries.org.
Please join us in our work to create a society that is just for all people. The time is now to help every person in Greenville thrive.