Spartanburg Chamber hires new diversity and economic inclusion consultant

Local News

SPARTANBURG, SC (WSPA) — The Spartanburg Chamber of Commerce is hiring a new consultant to address diversity and economic inclusion issues. Dr. Russell Booker, the outgoing superintendent of Spartanburg School District Seven, will fill the position Aug. 1.

One of Booker’s initial goals for the new gig is improving lines of communication with various corners of the Spartanburg community. That will help open the doors for efforts to increase economic mobility, he says.

Booker said people who live in the bottom 20% of the economic range have “a very little chance of moving up to those next quintiles unless we really get serious about removing some of the systemic barriers that have kept people at a certain place.”

Booker also is slated to become the next executive director of the Spartanburg Academic Movement (SAM), a nonprofit with the goal of bolstering academic success in the community.

A spokeswoman for Spartanburg District Seven says Booker will be missed in his current position. The board voted Tuesday to rename the atrium of the new fine arts center after Booker. The City of Spartanburg also voted Tuesday to ordain June 2 Dr. Russell W. Booker Day.

Booker’s last day as superintendent will be June 30. Jeff Stevens, the superintendent-elect, will take over thereafter.

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