Shades of Promise

Friday, October 3, 2008


SC State University (SC State) and Colorado State University (CSU) continue to collaborate on a project to bring students from both campuses together to create working teams dedicated to servant leadership principles, with the goal to complete both domestic and international projects. The mission of the “Shades of Promise” project is to address culture and ethnic issues.

CSU students will visit SC State during Homecoming Weekend, with their arrival on campus Thursday, Oct. 9th. The participants from both Universities will be the “Special Feature” in the opening of SC State’s 2008 Homecoming Step Show.

In March of this year, SC State students and University officials traveled to CSU for the first time to begin a multicultural leadership project with the hope of bringing a better understanding of each student’s differences and similarities. Additionally, the students discussed multicultural issues and social justice.

Shades of Promise organizer Jake Blumberg said that the principle motivation is for the two campuses to learn from their unique differences and to understand diversity. "Both schools come from environments with no diversity, but this shows that we can work toward social justice and equality," said Blumberg.

The SC State team is under the leadership of Dr. Valerie Fields, interim vice president for Student Affairs and Cammy Grate, Shades of Promise, advisor. Dr. Blanche Hughes is leading the group from CSU.
According to Grate, the “Shades of Promise” project is inspired by the desire to:

• Provide U.S. students with a multi-layered experience to help them learn from one another through working together on problems bigger than themselves, their worlds; global leadership training is critical to student’s success.

• Establishing a relationship between CSU and SC State professionally dedicated to the knowing that we can make a difference in solving our own problems through working together on others’ problems.

• Work with our own high achieving students during their collegiate experiences as this is one of the last formal opportunities that we as “teachers/elders” have to influence them before they head off to become the leaders of tomorrow.

The “Shades of Promise” group will be traveling to Tanzania, East Africa in January 2009 to participate in various service learning projects. Additionally, the group proposed to work with the Oprah Foundation in an effort to complete the international service project in South Africa at her newly built Academy for Girls.

Both groups will also be traveling to various locations in Louisiana to assist with service learning projects.

Why US?
SC State-one of the oldest and most successful HBCU’s in the US; with a mission to education young African American students for successful careers both here and abroad; SCSU has a strong infrastructure with expertise in service learning.

Colorado State-one of Colorado’s most successful universities, with a strong commitment to leadership and cross-cultural education for its students; CSU also has a strong service learning expertise.