Written by Richard Waring, Vice President of DE&I with the Charleston Metro Chamber
Charleston offers a wealth of diversity in many aspects, but unfortunately some of its citizens have been marginalized for many, many years. Privileges that come easy for some can prove to be virtually unattainable for others.
Growing up on Johns Island, I clearly remember the hardships that were endured by my neighbors. I now recognize that those hardships, in part, came from a lack of access to the things that should be common and available to my community. This includes access to education, healthcare, jobs that paid a living wage and attainable housing, just to name a few.
As I matured, I became more aware of the struggles that minorities face and developed a strong drive to understand how I could make a difference. This fueled much of my career and continues to make an impact in my personal and professional journey.
I have been blessed with the opportunity to do true mission work. This started with my time at Palmetto Goodwill, transitioning to Trident Technical College and now here at the Charleston Metro Chamber. I truly believe that my purpose in life is to help, and the Chamber has expressed its commitment to this very work. I am excited to be a part of an organization that has allocated resources to develop a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) team that can focus on opportunities to help strengthen the economic position of the minority community.
As the first Vice President of DE&I for the Chamber, my goals include:
- Help my community learn about the opportunities available to them to be successful
- Make a commitment to explore ways that our region can be more inclusive and grow
- Harness the power of minority-owned businesses and ensure they have the tools for success
- Foster relationships to grow the Chamber’s DE&I work
Awareness of our Chamber’s efforts will be critical in connecting those who are seeking the opportunity to grow and enjoy all that our region has to offer.
I look forward to learning from each of our members and being a resource to our region. Let me know how I can help you!