SC Features

Tameika Isaac Devine
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Tameika Isaac Devine was age 29 when she ran for office for the first time. She became the first African American female and the youngest person on the Columbia City Council. She recalls winning that election by less than 200 votes. “If those 200 people did not vote, I wouldn’t be here today.” Now some 18 years later, Tameika Isaac Devine continues in her 5th term on the Columbia City Council. She is the founding partner in her law firm, Jabber & Isaac, PA. She is also an author and public speaker.

Darla Moore
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When Darla Moore began business school at George Washington University, she said she “didn’t know what a balance sheet was.” After graduating with her MBA, she moved to New York City and began in banking. She became one of the nation’s most successful business leaders. She was the first woman on the cover of Fortune magazine and was listed as one of Fortune’s “50 Most Powerful Women in Business.” University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business was the first business school in the nation to be named after a woman.

Betty Jo Rhea
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Betty Jo Rhea served as Mayor of Rock Hill for 12 years and as a member of the City Council for 8 years. She was referred to as “the people’s mayor.” When she took over as mayor, unemployment stood at over 17% and textile mills had declined from 13 to only one. Under her leadership, the community started business parks and attracted several international companies to Rock Hill. She fostered a sports complex that has since paved the way for a city now known for being an amateur sports mecca. From baseball and softball, the city has added facilities including soccer, tennis, and cycling.

T. Lilly Little Water
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T. Lilly Little Water began her life's passion of advocating for Indigenous People at age seventeen. “It’s something intangible and inexplicable that drives me. It feels like there are also a 1000 ancestors in my heart that are constantly giving me a nudge in this way or that way. They always give me direction.”

M. Malissa Burnette
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Malissa Burnette is an award-winning attorney and advocate for equal rights for all. She is co-founder of the Burnette Shutt & McDaniel law firm in Columbia. She waged a legal battle to change the rules and allow women to attend The Citadel. She successfully challenged a rule that barred young girls from playing football. More recently, she and Nekki Shutt, another of the firm’s founding partners, were lead counsel in the case that made same-sex marriage legal in South Carolina.

Ann Timberlake
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Fresh out of Newcomb College at Tulane, Ann Timberlake came back to South Carolina and instead of taking up civil rights or the war, she said she “wanted to save trees.” She became one of South Carolina’s leading conservation advocates. As a founding member of the Sierra Club in South Carolina, she helped lead campaigns to establish the Congaree National Park and the Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness.

Cathy Hughes
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Shortly after Cathy Hughes joined The Times and Democrat in Orangeburg in 1972, she got a call from the society editor who said, “Cathy, The Times and Democrat’s on fire.” Hughes and her husband rushed to the paper and along with staff members watched as smoke came out of the building. Undaunted, the staff published the paper the next morning. She learned early on the value of leadership and a committed staff. She has been with the newspaper for 48 years, becoming publisher in 1999, the first woman to lead the enterprise.

Dr. Shaniece Criss
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Dr. Shaniece Criss “The world will tell you what success looks like, but truly success looks differently for different people.” The words of Dr. Shaniece Criss. She has defined her own success by fulfilling purpose in three main areas: government, media, and academia. And she has succeeded in all three. She was the first African American female to be elected to the Travelers Rest City Council in the Upstate. She is an assistant professor of Health Science at Furman University. And as a public health practitioner, Dr.

Deborah Blalock
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“Follow your passion. Don't ever forget to take care of yourself.  That's critically important. I think as women, we don't always do that very well.” 

Keisha Hawes
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Keisha Hawes was age 31 when she had a heart attack. She was a wife and mother, who was holding down several part-time jobs in the Charleston area to help to make ends meet.   She has taken the experience of her heart attack as a way to “serve another purpose.”  She said, “when I was stuck on the fact of suffering a heart attack, I actually suffered. I continued my suffering. When I took a moment and I stopped and I said, ‘no, let's look at this from the lens of you survived a heart attack. So now, what is the purpose in your survival?

As president, CEO and owner of Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation, Lou Kennedy runs a global company out of West Columbia, South Carolina. She and her husband helped establish the Kennedy Pharmacy Center Innovation Center in conjunction with the USC School of Pharmacy. She received South Carolina’s Order of the Palmetto in recognition of a lifetime of service.

Bradley Fuller, South Carolina Public Radio

It’s not the harpsichord just inside the entryway of the Carolina Music Museum that comes as such a surprise, but the sign on top of it. “Play Me,” it reads—two words seldom seen on keyboards in public spaces unless preceded by “Please Do Not.”

Dr. Thomas Strange, Artistic Director and Curator of the museum located on Greenville’s Heritage Green, considers such interaction an important part of a visitor’s experience.

“It’s a bit of an experiential museum, so there are things that you can actually play. And we encourage people to explore a little bit,” Strange says.

Scott Morgan / South Craolina Public Radio

Greenville Technical College has no problem attracting a diverse student body. What it does have -- and it's not alone in this by any stretch -- is a problem retaining African-American male students. 

Dr. Alecia Watt, the college’s director of educational opportunity programs, says that more than any other group, African-American male students at Greenville Tech leave school before finishing their degree paths. Her certainty comes from an in-depth study to find out who was not coming back and why. 

Scott Morgan / South Carolina Public Radio

If you’re the type who likes to say you knew someone back in the day, you might want to remember the name Kamron Venable.

Women Vision SC: Pastor Nannie Jefferies

Jul 9, 2019
Pastor Nannie Jefferies
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Pastor, Maranatha Free Church of Jesus Christ

Founder, Exec. Director, Angels Change Ministry

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