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How Greenville group is confronting racism and nation’s ‘biggest lie’

profile of man in glasses at podium, Baxter Wynn
Baxter Wynn is a former Furman University trustee.

In a opinion piece appearing in The Greenville News, former Furman University Board of Trustees member Baxter Wynn wrote, “I have come to believe that deep-seated personal racial bias, often unintended, unconscious, and difficult to acknowledge, is one of the major causes of the continuing systemic racism that plagues our community and nation, and that sharing our personal experiences and stories is an effective way – perhaps the best way – of becoming aware of and hopefully overcoming our hidden racial bias.”

Wynn is on the Greenville Racial Equity and Economical Mobility (REEM) Commission, whose 35  members also include Furman President Elizabeth Davis and Furman Chief of Staff Liz Seman, as well as several alumni connections.

REEM was initiated by the Greenville Chamber, United Way of Greenville County and Urban League of the Upstate following the murder of George Floyd in May. The Commission aims to ground its ongoing work in anti-racist transformation; gather ideas to improve equity and economic mobility strategies in Greenville County; mobilize around identified top priorities; and establish follow-through and accountability metrics for focus areas.

For Furman’s board, Wynn was part of the team overseeing the review and implementation of the recommendations advanced by the Seeking Abraham Project, which explored Furman’s historical ties to slavery. One of the outcomes of the project was to establish a tribute plaza and statue honoring the first Black student to attend Furman, Joseph A. Vaughn ’68.

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