For Immediate Release
October 31, 2022
Contact James T. McLawhorn, Jr.: 803-929-1040
Juanita Dean-Bates: 803-929-1041
The Columbia Urban League today announced a gift of $1.5 million that will grow its work to empower underserved and disadvantaged communities.
The gift, by philanthropist and author MacKenzie Scott, is the largest contribution in the affiliate’s 55-year history.
“We are thankful to MacKenzie Scott for recognizing the value of our hardworking efforts to uplift and provide fair and equal opportunities for underserved and disadvantaged people in South Carolina. This gift is a testament to the awareness we have raised through our decades-long advocacy for a fair and just society, one that embraces diversity, equity, equal opportunity, and inclusiveness in the workplace and our communities.
“We hope this validation of our efforts will open the eyes of other potential supporters in the fight for social justice as we seek a better society for all.”
The Columbia Urban League is celebrating its 55th anniversary on November 8, with its Equal Opportunity Day Dinner at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. The Columbia affiliate was founded in 1967 by an interracial group of citizens seeking to improve frayed race relations and promote community togetherness in the Midlands.
McLawhorn has been its president for more than four decades.
He says Ms. Scott’s contribution will help the Columbia Urban League address “structural and racial equity.”
The Columbia Urban League is one of 25 National Urban League affiliates around the nation that received similar donations from Scott, for a total gift of $108 million to National Urban League affiliates. In 2019, Scott signed The Giving Pledge, a promise by the world's wealthiest individuals and families to dedicate the majority of their wealth to charitable causes.