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Cave donates to Social Justice Research Initiative at CCU as part of endowment campaign

April 3, 2017
Nancy Cave

Nancy Cave of Georgetown has made a donation to support the Social Justice Research Initiative (SJRI) in the College of Science at Coastal Carolina University. The gift supports the University’s I’M IN endowment campaign, which has a goal of increasing CCU’s endowment $20 million by 2020. Learn more about the campaign at I'M IN.

Formed in 2012, the SJRI promotes community-based research, experiential learning, community service projects and social change. The endowed program funds will provide resources to enhance SJRI’s three core components of education, research and action.

“I hope the SJRI will create a group of involved and committed people who will bring about change at the local, state and national level,” Cave said. “I have been working on social justice issues for the last 15 years, and I think it is critically important that young people learn to protect and defend those without a voice and those who have been silenced. The social justice initiative will help them learn how to give voice through advocacy and policy to those that are not heard.”

By focusing on the causes, processes, structures, and consequences of inequality and social justice in action, the SJRI emphasizes a universitywide curricular program designed to educate and empower agents of social change. Several courses have been designed that incorporate a community service requirement as part of the curriculum. SJRI facilitates research opportunities for faculty and students to work in partnership with community organizations and to bring additional and needed resources to the community. The initiative also provides a vehicle for students, faculty, staff and community members to consolidate their skills to engage in social action for social change around social injustices. For the past four years, the SJRI has sponsored the annual Ella Baker Day event, which brings social activists to campus to engage students in activism around a variety of social issues, including environmental and racial justice. This year’s event is April 18, and the keynote speaker is Rosa Clemente, former vice presidential candidate for the Green Party.

“On behalf of the SJRI, I would like to express our sincere gratitude to Nancy Cave for her generous contribution that will be used to support the SJRI’s mission to educate our students to become critical thinkers and empowered agents for change in the struggle for social justice,” said Deborah Perkins, director of the Social Justice Research Initiative. “I also would like to thank Nancy for her tireless work over the years as an environmental justice activist and organizer in South Carolina. She truly serves as a model for CCU students who are interested in pursuing careers and further education in community advocacy and social justice activism. We are most grateful for all that Nancy Cave has done for the SJRI, CCU and larger community.”

Cave will speak at CCU as part of the Celebrate Social Justice series on Tuesday, April 11, 1:40-2:55 p.m. in Brittain Hall, 101. Her presentation, “Community Organizing for Social Justice,” will focus on her work as a community organizer and how citizens can become involved in the quest for social justice and change. The event is free and open to the public.

Cave is in her fifth year as a member of the College of Science’s board of visitors. She recently retired after serving for 15 years as the north coast office director of the Coastal Conservation League, an environmental advocacy organization headquartered in Charleston. She previously worked in marketing and communications at Citicorp, NationsBank, and Dun & Bradstreet. She started her career in radio and television in Chicago.