AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) — We know now the state of our community thanks to the State of Our Community event at USC Aiken.
One big topic discussed Thursday afternoon, diversity and the Aiken Mosaic project. The project is a community-building process that brought groups of people together. “The goal was to pair known community leaders with untraditional leaders to talk about Aiken’s future,” Aiken Chamber of Commerce President and CEO J. David Jameson told NewsChannel 6’s Shawn Cabbagestalk.
Thursday, we heard from facilitators of the project who shared how the project got on its feet. We also heard from the Chairman-Elect of the Aiken Chamber of Commerce Julie Whitesell on its results.
Those results, we’ve learned, residents in the area want more events that are inclusive to all backgrounds — perhaps one involving the area churches.
“I’m always curious about whether the broader community feels the same about the community has the same vision and it’s moving forward together,” Jameson said. “This was an opportunity for us to hold those kinds of discussions. What we found out, is yes we are moving forward we are almost in lockstep and there are not big issues out there that are getting ready to lift their heads and bite us,” he added.
The process began by folks getting to know one another on a personal level.
Then, pairs were asked to delve into thoughts on the Aiken community. What outcomes, behaviors and goals need to be achieved? What is the best of what we’ve achieved in the past? How did it make us feel? How do we attain more of it? Becoming aware and appreciative of an individual’s thoughts and approaches to actions is just the beginning.
The next phase created the opportunity and process for inclusive dialogues as groups developed relationships that are not frequently seen in the community.
“This is a wonderful outcome is that even though the chamber had moved forward from step A to step Z, the participates said no we want this to go on forward, we want this to move forward,” Jameson recalled. “It’s spinning out of the chamber and it’s got a life of its own and it could not be a better outcome for us,” he added.
It’s not too late to become a part of the Mosaic Project. You can get in touch with the Aiken Chamber of Commerce at (803) 641-1111.