USC Upstate Chancellor Harris Garners Urban League of the Upstate Award

February 27, 2023 at 12:04 pm

USC Upstate Chancellor Bennie L. Harris, Ph.D., at the Urban League of the Upstate’s 2023 Whitney M. Young, Jr., awards gala.

GREENVILLE, S.C.—The University of South Carolina Upstate’s Chancellor, Bennie L. Harris, Ph.D., received the Xanthene S. Norris Education Award at the Urban League of the Upstate Inc.’s 2023 Whitney M. Young, Jr. awards gala held Thursday, February 23, at the Greenville Convention Center. The award is named for the long-serving Greenville County Councilwoman Xanthene Norris.

“At USC Upstate, we set the stage for students and faculty of color to reach their greatest heights,” Harris said. “We serve as a place for educational engagement and aspire to create a culture of civil discourse. This award is a significant recognition of the work we do to inspire and develop people who will change the world.”

According to the organization’s website, the National Urban League was founded in 1910 and works with the community, corporate partners, and policymakers at the local and state levels to “enable and empower African Americans and others in underserved communities to achieve their highest human potential and secure economic self-reliance, parity, power and civil rights.”

Urban League of the Upstate said on its website that it grew out of a grassroots effort in 1970 spearheaded by a group of Greenville citizens who wanted to “create a community-based organization committed to the principle of equal opportunity for all citizens in housing, education, employment, and economic development without regard to race or socioeconomic status.”

“The ULUS annual gala is designed to recognize individuals and companies supporting the work of the Urban League,” the organization said in a statement. “Together with our partners, we celebrate our achievements in educating and empowering Black and underserved individuals throughout the region.”

The other honorees were:

  • Greenville Mayor Knox H. White, Whitney M. Young Jr. Humanitarian Award
  • S.C. Rep. Chandra Dillard (D-Greenville), President’s Award
  • Ten at the Top, Corporate Citizenship Award
  • Johnston Design Group, Corporate Citizenship Award
  • Neighborhood and Historic Preservation Advocates, Volunteer of the Year