Advance Kiawah Changing the Story

Mom & Daughter In Pool Mom & Daughter In Pool

Being the Change

The systemic and racial injustices witnessed in 2020 have called forth a moment of reckoning across America and prompted a monumental question for the Kiawah Partners team: What are we going to do to change this story?

And in response, Advance Kiawah was born.

The multifaceted initiative was created to expand diversity and impact meaningful, lasting change across Kiawah Island and the Lowcountry. Following professional training to identify the inherent biases and inequities existing within the community, Kiawah’s top leadership created committees to finetune goals and devise a plan to reach them. Today, the blueprints are in place for creating a comprehensive, informed, and lasting strategy—a collective effort that could catalyze real change and eventually take on a life of its own.

“The new dawn blooms as we free it.
For there is always light if only we’re brave enough to see it,
if only we’re brave enough to be it.”
– Amanda Gorman, America’s First Youth Poet Laureate

Our Mission

To create a lasting and meaningful initiative that strives to eliminate systemic and institutional racism and promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion on Kiawah Island. Our vision is to enable racial, social, and economic progress that outlives this moment in time and transforms Kiawah Island into a community that leads, not just locally but across our state and nation.

Our Focus

Advance Kiawah channels its efforts into four distinct pillars. Each pillar is dependent on all others and it is crucial that symbiosis exists among the quartet to maximize the initiative’s impact.

Staff & Culture

A concerted effort to broaden our recruitment reach and re-strategize placement of employment listings to foster multi-ethnic staffing across our businesses.

Home Ownership

A commitment to attracting a new, broader demographic of buyers to the Island in the service of inclusion and more balanced representation.

Supplier Diversity

A strengthening of partnerships with minority-owned businesses including vendors and service providers.

Community Outreach

A mindful delegation of time and resources to Lowcountry communities of color in the interest of empowering our economically challenged neighbors.

Kiawah In The Community

Advance Kiawah’s community outreach program is led by the Kiawah Island Club. The Kiawah In The Community initiative connects staff with Lowcountry residents in need. Our first endeavor involved cleaning yards on Johns Island, as well as constructing a new playground and outdoor classroom for Angel Oak Elementary. We followed that up with a grocery drive and distribution day for local families, in partnership with Our Lady of Mercy. Future projects include donation drives and fundraising for neighboring schools, churches, and shelters. LEARN MORE

Donate to a Wonderful Cause

On June 17, 2015, a mass shooting took place inside the Mother Emanuel Church in Charleston, SC. Today, Advance Kiawah is proud to support The Emanuel Project in its creation of a memorial honoring the nine lives lost to racism and violence during the senseless, tragic event. Please join us in giving. Donate Here

Our first outreach initiative:

Advance Kiawah’s inspiring community outreach program led by the Kiawah Island Club, connects staff with Lowcountry residents in need from Johns Island and Wadmalaw Island. The simple question “How can we help?” led to Club employees cleaning yards, delivering meals, and planting gardens for our Johns Island neighbors, as well as building a new playground and outdoor classroom for Angel Oak Elementary School. Advance Kiawah’s hope is to build off of this momentum, and expand Kiawah in the Community’s reach to help even more local residents and community groups that neighbor our sea islands. Current and future initiatives include:

  • Donation drives for local schools, churches, and homeless shelters
  • Trash clean up on Johns Island
  • Providing special assistance to local neighbors in need
  • Raising funds to help build wells for residents without running water on Johns Island and Wadamalaw

Learn More

Ready to Change the Story?

Would you like to turn the page on systemic and institutional racism? And help us write a new story of equity, diversity, and inclusion? We’d love to have you with us.


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