Urban League Receives $20k from Duke Energy

The Event was Held in Collaboration with the McClaren Apartments’ Grand Opening

GREENVILLE, S.C. – Thursday, February 15, 2024 In collaboration with The McClaren Apartments’ grand opening on February 9, Executive Director of the Urban League of the Upstate (ULUS), Dr. Gail Wilson Awan, gave an update on the developing McClaren Institute for Health & Quality of Life, located immediately next door at 110 Wardlaw.

During Dr. Wilson Awan’s remarks, Linda Hannon, Director of Government and Community Relations at Duke Energy, presented a $20,000 grant that will be used to create digital exhibits within the Cultural and Historical Literacy Center and a Civil Rights Tour that will include the history of the McClaren Medical Shelter.

The building was built by Dr. Edward E. McClaren in 1949 and served as the only clinic for Black people in the area during the Jim Crow era. As part of the McClaren Apartments’ development project, the building was moved to accommodate construction and then donated to the Urban League of the Upstate. 

Following the grand opening event, Dr. Wilson Awan and representatives from the ULUS welcomed visitors for a hard hat tour of the ongoing construction and renovation efforts of the facility, which will soon become a physical hub and programmatic center.

What is The McClaren Institute for Health & Quality of Life?

The McClaren Institute for Health & Quality of Life will focus on addressing healthcare and wellness disparities for Black people and the underserved living in the Upstate of South Carolina by emphasizing programs around the five social determinants of health: economic stability, education access and quality, health care access and quality, neighborhood and built environment, social and community context.

The physical location in the renovated, historic McClaren Medical shelter will serve as a hub for services, education, and outreach efforts.

Renovating the Building for New Programming and Education

The McClaren Institute for Health & Quality of Life is currently developing core programming (five programs are confirmed) and completing renovations on the facility in fall of 2024. The physical space will include a multimedia Cultural and Historical Literacy Center displaying contributions of Black citizens to Greenville’s growth and development on the lower floor. This interactive center will educate, inspire, and motivate aspiring leaders towards building a better quality of life for the underserved communities in the Upstate.

The upper floor is a hub for ULUS and its partners to address Upstate health disparities—by offering programming on site and as a resource center for initiatives happening throughout the region.

The upper floor maintains its original design of “patient rooms” but is being renovated to provide multiple functions. Four spaces will be activated for specific health and wellness related services, bolstered by a reception/waiting area and the ULUS office.

Design, renovation, and construction is being managed by the Johnston Design Group. The Cargo Agency is creating the Cultural and Historical Literacy Center and multimedia experiences.

Fundraising is underway for the completion of the early phases of the project and to launch future phases.

About the Urban League of the Upstate
The mission of the ULUS is to advance equity by empowering the Black community and underserved individuals throughout the region. The National Urban League is laser-focused on Health Equity as a key initiative, supporting local efforts through funding, advocacy, and programming. To learn more, visit urbanleagueupstate.org.

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