Council on Foundation's Inclusive Economic Prosperity in the South

As a gift to the community and in recognition of its 75th Anniversary, The Spartanburg County Foundation held a free, family-friendly event Monday, October 22, 2018, at Cornerstone Baptist Church.  The event, featuring Susan L. Taylor, former editor-in-chief of Essence Magazine, and Peabody Award Winner Joy Thomas Moore, inspired all ages by telling stories of hope and explaining how you can be a voice in a child’s ear, even when you are not with them.  The event was moderated by WSPA News Anchor Amy Wood.

Susan L. Taylor, a best-selling author, entrepreneur, and former editor-in-chief of Essence Magazine, is Founder and CEO of National CARES Mentoring Movement, the only organization dedicated to providing mentoring, healing, and wellness services on a national scale for African American children.

Joy Thomas Moore, a Peabody Award winner and President and CEO of JWS Media Consulting, is the mother of bestselling author Wes Moore.  Her new book, The Power of Presence, explains how you can be present in a child’s life even when you can’t always be around.

POP book

According to recent data, Spartanburg County’s population is over 300,000, and approximately 113,000 individuals live below 200% of the federal poverty level.  The percentage of children living in single parent families in Spartanburg County stands at 40.1%, which is higher than our peer counties.

This event, featuring two nationally-acclaimed women, will provide insights on how we can support youth, parents, caregivers, and our community by being PRESENT.


The goal of The Power of Presence: An Evening with Susan L. Taylor and Joy Thomas Moore is to bring the people of Spartanburg together to hear an inspiring, uplifting, and challenging message about the power of a present voice in a child’s ear.

It is our hope that this message will spark Spartanburg County into action, providing opportunities and support for youth and young adults, particularly in the those living in the lowest income brackets.


Over 550 attended the community event at Cornerstone Baptist Church featuring  Joy Thomas Moore and Susan L. Taylor.  The event was moderated by WSPA News Anchor Amy Wood.

Earlier, a luncheon of over 50 community and nonprofit leaders was held at C.C. Woodson Community Center.  Moderator Mr. John Simpkins, provided an overview of the Spartanburg Racial Equity Index data leading into a conversation with Susan L. Taylor.  Susan shared information regarding the National CARES Mentoring Movement and the need to get involved.