Virtual conversation on civic engagement this Wednesday

Richland County’s Government and Community Services Department will host a virtual community conversation on civic engagement as part of the Central Carolina Community Foundation’s annual On the Table event.

Residents can take part in the hour-long conversation via Zoom at noon October 7 by visiting

“After participating in the foundation’s On the Table events for the past two years, we thought this was the right time to host a community conversation, given the current topics on people’s minds,” said Chris Keefer, GCS director.

On the Table previously featured a day of conversations across the Midlands. For this year’s event, organizations are holding virtual or socially distanced in-person conversations.

“The team has designed our virtual table gathering to closely mimic the group and breakout conversations that are hallmarks of in-person On the Table events,” Keefer said. “Meeting new neighbors, asking questions and having these conversations leads to building community and encouraging positive change.”

During the conversation, GCS staff will discuss the department’s role in facilitating improved community outreach and explain the importance of civic engagement in the democratic process. Participants will then break into small-group chat rooms to explore three questions about civic engagement.

With this meeting, GCS staff aim to get a better understanding of how to effectively work with residents to address issues and concerns, and for participants to take actionable steps to lead impactful conversations in their own organizations and communities.

“We recognize the important voice of our community, and GCS has been successful in connecting with the community because we have been willing to listen,” said Bryant Davis, GCS assistant director. “By facilitating the conversation, we can help improve community outreach in Richland County.”

“The conversations that will take place during On the Table will help us move forward and make our region stronger,” says JoAnn Turnquist, president and CEO of the Central Carolina Community Foundation. “When we come together to share and learn from each other, we have the power to impact neighborhoods, communities and lives.”

On the Table is funded by First Citizens Bank and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

To learn more and register, visit