SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – One group of school kids is trying to recognize and increase diversity in the Spartanburg community.
A student-led event, being held in downtown Spartanburg, is aimed at bringing the community together, regardless of people’s background, race, or socioeconomic status, to enjoy a meal and community conversation.
“One Table. One Community” is a partnership between the city and high school students.
“The goal is to really make sure that we get as many people to the table as possible,” said Marilyn Nguyen, with the city.
It’s a free meal where everyone is welcome.
“This is actually about the community, actually about bringing people together and having conversation that will hopefully last beyond this event,” said Nguyen.
Thomas Owens, a junior at Spartanburg Day School, he said he saw this type of event happening in other communities and wanted to bring it here.
“That’s why I wanted to bring it to the city, is so we could unite such a diverse community,” said Owens.
Owens said, through his group Interact Club, they held an event like this at the school, but he wanted to create one on a larger scale.
As soon as the city heard about it, they said, they were on board.
“It’s an opportunity to engage and empower our youth, our future youth leaders,” said Nguyen.
Nguyen said they’re supporting students and bringing larger corporations into the conversation.
“We’re intentionally engaging non-profits, foundations, neighborhood associations, business owners, making sure that people of all backgrounds, races, socioeconomic status are invited,” she said.
The students have gone out to collect donations and sponsorships. Owens said they have raised around $12,000.
“The funds that aren’t used will also go to Hub City Farmer’s Market, the non-profit, downtown,” he said.
More than 40 students are working to make sure everyone has a seat at the table.
“The students emphasized this piece of unity, diversity and inclusion. The students wanted to create a space where everyone could feel like they could belong,” said Nguyen.
“I’m super excited and I’m super proud of my classmates and other schools that are helping put the event on,” said Owens.
The event will be held on East Main Street in downtown Spartanburg, on Sunday, March 26 from 3-6 p.m.
Owens said the students will continue to work to make this event the first of many in the city.