I firmly believe that Columbia can be the most talented, educated, and entrepreneurial city in the Southeast if not America. Unfortunately, too often our community’s most promising rising stars believe they must relocate to Charlotte, Atlanta, or Washington, D.C. because we cannot provide them with the opportunities they need to thrive. We cannot afford to let the next generation of trailblazers slip away from Columbia, SC. We have to show them that they can live up to their God-given potential right here in our city.
The mission of The Talented Tenth SC, or Team Tenth as we are referred to around town, is to raise the standard of excellence of young African American professionals through,
- Access to resources;
- Service to our communities; and
- Elevation of our members.
The Talented Tenth activates emerging leaders living in and around the Midlands and helps them acquire the skills and awareness needed to be effective changemakers.
By activating our region’s up-and-coming leaders, the Talented Tenth SC is building a diverse and powerful social and professional community – one that can both support and strengthen the communities we serve.
Team Tenth’s History
Following the 2010 election of the City of Columbia, SC’s first African American mayor, former Mayor Steve Benjamin held a meeting with the city’s young black professionals. The discussion led former Mayor Benjamin to envision an organization that helps young professionals of color:
- become more involved in the Columbia community,
- advance their professional goals,
- provide meaningful mentorship opportunities
- and offer direct pathways to leadership in the community.
That very summer, The Talented Tenth SC was born. Those young professionals, also known as our founding members, organized the first Talented Tenth Conference that featured Columbia’s top business, civic, and political leaders.
Over the years, the organization has grown and evolved. Now, a membership organization, Talented Tenth continues to work to create a positive impact on its community.