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Claflin opens social justice center in downtown Orangeburg

City officials and Claflin staff cut the ribbon on Wednesday to Claflin's new downtown center located on Russell Street.

ORANGEBURG, S.C. — Orangeburg has a vision of becoming a global hub for social justice.

"This center will serve as a center for social justice," said Dr. Dwaun J. Warmack, Claflin President.

He said that, when he thinks of social justice, it's focused on four components.

"Our center is the place providing access and opportunity for everything around D and I [diversity and inclusion]. We will also provide certificate and certification programs in urban and rural policing, unconscious bias training for municipalities across the countries."

City officials and Claflin staff cut the ribbon on Wednesday to Claflin's new downtown center located on Russell Street. As Claflin's president said, this facility will focus on four areas: health disparities, diversity and inclusion initiatives, prison and police education.

"We want to be the catalyst to change that narrative," Dr. Warmack said. "We want to begin to provide educational opportunities so we can debunk some of those myths, bring unity, and break down some of those fears."

News19 asked Claflin's president how much the social justice center cost. While he did not give us a specific price, he did say the school is debt-free from the project. 

Credit: Devin Johnson

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The downtown center also has another role. 

"We have dead spots down here," said Mayor Michael Butler. "We have things around us, but we have dead spots so that the center will bring life here."

Orangeburg's mayor said the city is working to revitalize the downtown area. He believes the facility is a component in recruiting more businesses.

"They see we are working on these things so other business will see these improvements which entice them to come here," Butler said.

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