COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Equality Coalition (SCEC) Board of Directors announced the last week of May plans to transition from a campaign-based organization to an organization focused on strengthening public policy, political activities and advancing community education efforts in underserved and un-served areas in the state.
SCEC Field Director Melissa Moore will serve as interim director for the organization during its mission transition.
“After the tremendous efforts spent on fighting the constitutional amendment last year, the board feels that we need to focus our efforts,” said Board Chair Michael Laughlin. “We continue our mission to secure and maintain civil and human rights for LGBT South Carolinians,” said Laughlin.
The transition will involve a restructuring of staff to reflect the organization’s focus, resources and capabilities. In the interim, field director Melissa Moore will be responsible for daily operational activities.
Born and raised in Charleston, Moore attended the College of Charleston, where she earned a B.S. in Sociology and developed an appetite for activism. Previously an executive assistant for Alliance For Full Acceptance (AFFA) in Charleston, she came to SCEC when Linda Ketner, then Board chair, offered her a part-time volunteer coordinator position.
SCEC continues to retain a lobbyist to represent the community’s interests at the State House. In addition, SCEC is offering summer internships to college-age students, keeping its commitment to youth leadership development.
Michael Drennan, former Board member and executive director, is no longer with the organization. Drennan committed several years to SCEC in program development and utilization of technology to bring the organization to the forefront of the national stage.
“Emerging out of the amendment fight, it has become clear the primary mission of SCEC needs to be driven by and focused on legislative issues and politics,” said Laughlin, explaining that political efforts include both current legislative lobbying and the planned development of a political action committee.
According to Laughlin, SCEC now tackles the exciting challenge of building on the work of the amendment campaign, and reinvesting in the political and educational focus that have been central to its mission since 2002.
SCEC was founded as a coalition of LGBT community organizations, religious allies, AIDS service organizations and concerned citizens. In 2005 and 2006, the organization focused energy and resources on a campaign against the constitutional amendment prohibiting recognition of same-sex couples.
For more information about SCEC, visit its website at www.scequality.org.