Columbia Luncheon Club and the Ordie P. Taylor Award
For over 50 years The Greater Columbia Community Relations Council (CRC) has been hosting the Columbia Luncheon Club meetings. The Club grew out of the efforts of people of good will desiring to help Columbia make a peaceful and meaningful transition from a legally segregated society to an integrated community. In the early 1960s when blacks and whites could not meet together in a social setting, the USC president at the time, Dr. Thomas F. Jones, SC Senator Hyman Rubin, Columbia Mayor Lester Bates, Attorney Lincoln Jenkins and other concerned citizens met at the University of South Carolina. They formed the core group that eventually became known as the Columbia Luncheon Club. Less than a year later, Club leaders formed CRC. The ultimate aim of the club is to promote good will, cultural understanding, frank dialogue, and tolerance while enjoying a meal together.
The Colonel Ordie P. Taylor Award
This annual award is bestowed upon individuals who exemplify the values and purpose of the Columbia Luncheon Club in his/her unselfish service to the larger community. Honoree must be an individual whose personal and/or professional life reflects helping others, valuing and promoting cultural and racial understanding, celebrating diversity, and encouraging “good will” among all people. Membership in the Columbia Luncheon Club is not a criteria for selection.
Community Events and Educational Forums
CRC’s Community Issues Initiative provides input and initiate discussions on current or proposed public policy or community issues. The objective is to ensure that issues that may have a divisive impact on the community are either negated or resolved to the benefit of all area citizens..
- CRC holds forums and community education programs to encourage open positive dialogue on divisive issues and to educate the public on the impact these issues may have on the community at large.
- CRC meets regularly with leaders of government, community, school, neighborhood and business organizations to address current issues.
Community Relations Council Annual Awards
CRC bestows the Senator Hyman Rubin, Sr. Distinguished Service Award, Milton Kimpson Community Service Award and the Bates-Jones Award upon individuals or entities in the Midlands community who have displayed exceptional dedication in addressing the needs of the community, thereby positively impacting the well-being of Midlands’ residents. The awards are presented at CRC’s annual awards event in June.
Faith Based Initiative
The mission of CRC is to promote harmony, mutual respect and justice within our diverse population. Whenever possible, we carry out this mission through community collaborations and partnerships. We believe that through collaborative efforts we are empowered to develop and implement effective strategies to deal with issues impacting our communities. To this end CRC has established the Faith Based Initiative, made up of local pastors seeking to find answers to the issues negatively impacting their communities.
CRC’s Fair Housing Program partners with federal, state and local entities, to hold community meetings, forums and seminars to provide comprehensive fair housing education.
Young Contemporaries (CRCYC)
This Committee is made up of the Greater Columbia Community Relations Council’s (CRC) Board members and other dedicated and talented young community advocates in the Midlands.
CRCYC’s purpose is to enrich our community by engaging in meaningful discussion of issues affecting the Midlands. The Committee seeks to explore issues of importance to the Midlands, holding forums or roundtable discussions to gather input and seek solutions to problems, thereby creating a platform for its members to become active civically, contributing to the economic development and high quality living of our community.
The condition of our youth is a major concern for CRC. This is especially true as new challenges to acceptable social values and good morals threaten community safety and tranquility. In partnership with SC Primary Health Care Association and Richland County Youth Arbitration Program, CRC’s Youth Initiative uses innovative and collaborative programs such as our P.A.C.E. Program to reach youth in school and community center settings. The program and partnerships are intended to enhance self-esteem and positive learning opportunities. The ultimate goal is to assist today’s youth in becoming productive and wholesome citizens in the larger community.