How the Upstate can help UI

Our past articles have painted a picture of what an asset UI is for our county. So now the question is what is next to come and how can we help?  UI is a membership based organization that includes individuals, families, and corporations. Although UI has experienced booming success in programming over the years, with over 380 active members, the stride for growth continues. Executive Director of UI Tracie Frese says “there is never a boring day” at the office and furthermore, that UI currently has more organizations approaching them with event ideas and partnerships than they have the funding for. With that in mind, it is Tracie’s goal to grow global diversity by increasing funding through membership growth. Another way to gain funding is through partnering with both large and small corporations as well as educational institutions. Although UI has various successful corporate partnerships, the organization’s future goal is to have permanent corporate sponsors so that UI can work with their committed funding year-in-and year-out to support individual events and build ongoing programming.

An additional goal of UI is to bring more international activities and cultural events to area college campuses.  On a larger scale, Upstate International feels as though they can be the center of changing the conversation over diversity through educational programming. At a time where “our whole nation is in an uproar among immigrants, refugees, and foreign policy, this is the perfect time that South Carolina can be the one to include the world.” As the members of Upstate International say, “SC, including the world, begins with U&I.”

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