PROMISE KEEPERS

Promise Keepers encourage us to reflect on social values and embrace our culture in the pursuit of a meaningful life. These community leaders make it possible for us to pass on knowledge, history, and experiences from one generation to the next, helping us fulfill the promise of our ancestors.

Through their sacrifice and service, we are taught important lessons about the many opportunities we all have to give back in our daily lives. We appreciate these Promise Keepers for fulfilling their civic duties, for caring for their brothers and sisters, and for inspiring us to love one another.


 
 
vivian.jpg

MRS. VIVIAN ANDERSON
National Speaker · Community Activist · Founder/Director of Every Black Girl, Inc.

Who taught you to Give Back to others?
My mother was always contributing and being of service to others, starting with teaching us about tithing in the church.
Why is Giving important?
I believe that as human beings, it is our responsibility to contribute and give back to others.  As long as I have breath, I will work to ensure that no child will hurt.
How do you Give Back today?
I believe in listening to God's calling and financially contribute to numerous organizations worldwide. I came to South Carolina to support one young girl who had been brutally assaulted while at school. This led to the formation of Every Black Girl, where we now help youth become active agents of change in a safe and supportive place.

 
tanya.jpg

DR. TANYA SMITH BRICE
Dean of the School of Health and Human Services at Benedict College

Who taught you to Give Back to others?
I learned to Give Back by watching my grandparents,  aunts, and uncles. My grandfather,  Albert Lemon Smith, was a leader in African-American congregations throughout the Southeast and planted congregations in Georgia and South Carolina.
Why is Giving important?
Giving is important to honor my ancestors, on whom shoulders I stand. We are all interconnected and depend heavily on each other for survival.  This is especially true for African Americans, as we would not be able to survive oppressive systems without generously supporting one another and the broader communities in which we reside.
How do you Give Back today?
Social workers have the privilege of living out their charge to care for the oppressed.  I give by studying the history of race relations in Churches of Christ, by applying my expertise through administrative and policy work and by supporting various social movements.

 
charles.jpg

REV. CHARLES B. JACKSON, SR.
Senior Pastor at Brookland Baptist Church

Who taught you to Give Back to others?
Although I came from humble beginnings, service has always been a core value of my family.  My mother and father stressed the importance of an education and instilled in me a desire to share my blessings with others as I grew.
Why is Giving important?
To whom much is given, much is expected.  The cheerful Giver realizes that giving is a reflection of God. The help we provide for others is often returned to us ten-fold.   It also creates positive ties and builds trust within our communities.o us ten-fold.   It also creates positive ties and builds trust within our communities.
How do you Give Back today?
I enjoy working with and supporting the 193 employees and staff, and the many volunteers, of the Brookland Baptist Church who have made possible our community outreach service by way of numerous Brookland-affiliated centers and institutions. In addition, our 65 ministries allow us to be a blessing to people and make a difference in our community. I also enjoy passing lessons learned from my experiences on to my children and grandchildren.

 
solomon.jpg

REV. SOLOMON JACKSON, JR.
Pastor of New Shiloh Baptist Church · Founder of the Solomon Jackson Jr. Foundation

Who taught you to Give Back to others?
Knowing that I was blessed, giving back seemed to come naturally.  I also had great examples by watching how other family and friends gave and led by example.
Why is Giving important?
Giving back is important because I want to be a blessing to others. Everytime I look around, the Lord keeps doing great things for me.
How do you Give Back today?
I support many educational institutions and charities throughout the state of South Carolina including the South Carolina State Museum, Morris College, the University of South Carolina, Benedict College, Claflin University, South Carolina State University, Allen University, and Midlands Technical College. I also serve on numerous boards and helped establish the current Midlands Technical College Alumni Association. I am a proud member and sponsor of the 100 Black Men of Greater Columbia.

 
IMG_1746-1.jpg

LT. COLONEL CORETTA MCGILL
Richland School District One Coordinator of Alternative Education · SC National Guard Logistics Officer

Who taught you to Give Back to others?
My mother always advocated for young people.  She taught us how to be aware of the needs of others and to always share in whatever ways possible.  I also remember as a college student being picked up by the volunteer bus drivers to attend church services.
Why is Giving important?
Giving not only helps others, but it also helps Givers by increasing their awareness of issues facing the community.  I feel blessed to be of service to others.
How do you Give Back today?
I am an active member of the Brookland Foundation Homeless Outreach Program which supports individuals experiencing homelessness.  I also volunteer with the SC Department of Juvenile Justice, Inner Sole, Family Shelter, and several other organizations in my community that assist youth and families in need.

 
mike.jpg

MR. MICHEAL MYERS
Retired City of Columbia Police Officer · Founder of the Harmony Youth Development Program

Who taught you to Give Back to others?
My parents were always giving whenever there was a need. They were recognized by the SC Department of Social Services as Foster Parents of the Year and always taught us that the way to show appreciation for the things that we’ve received is to give back to others in need.
Why is Giving important?
Because someone has to look out for our children.  A little foundational support goes a long way for a child who may not have the social surroundings to support them.  At the end of the day, we’re all God’s children.
How do you Give Back today?
I created a Youth Development Program in 1994 that focuses on character building and academic achievement for children ages 8-17.  More than 500 young people have participated along with support from Benedict College students as volunteers and tutors.  These youth have gone on to become teachers, school counselors, law enforcement officers - active civic leaders that continue to pass it on.

 
Faida.jpg

MRS. FAIDA WHITAKER-MFOMBOUTMOUN
Community Agitator · Child Literacy Advocate · Owner of Kwanzaa House, an African Cultural Resource Center

Who taught you to Give Back to others?
My parents were part of the Black Student Movement in the late 1960s. They were looking for answers and found them by gaining more knowledge of African culture. They then shared this knowledge with their children and the broader community by hosting education events and opening a community resource center and bookstore.  These Elders taught me that even when you don’t have much in other resources, you always have your time, talent and love to give.
Why is Giving important?
Giving is life. God works through our parents and gives us everything we need to survive. It is then our responsibility to share with others and make the world a better place.
How do you Give Back today?
Along with other family members and friends, I continue the legacy created by my parents through the Kwanzaa House.  I also provide lectures on African culture for numerous schools, communities, and events across the country,

 
lonnie.jpg

DR. LONNIE RANDOLPH, JR.
President of the South Carolina NAACP · Former Chair for the Commission for Consumer Affairs

Who taught you to Give Back to others?
I learned about giving back from my father and by watching the way he lived his life. He worked hard, was involved in the church and did things  to help other people. My father often helped the older members of our church congregation by driving them places without charging them.  I was moved to commit my life to reform when I saw my father, a decorated veteran of WWII, die on a segregated ward at the VA hospital.
Why is Giving important?
Giving is what made life complete for me. I enjoy helping make life better for other people.
How do you Give Back today?
I commit my time to working with young people and am involved as a mentor at St. Martin de Porres School. Before I retired, I often held career days as a practicing physician so that students could visit and learned about optometry. I continue to help with fundraising efforts for numerous school initiatives and leverage my many relationships in the community.