Hello! My name is Bridget Brown, and I am honored to be speaking with you as the new Executive Director of SC Appleseed. For nearly six years, I have worked at SC Appleseed — serving first as a staff attorney and for the past two years as Deputy Director. Throughout my time at SC Appleseed, I’ve witnessed firsthand the value and impact our organization has on the community we serve. I am so thankful to be a part of such an influential organization, and excited by the opportunity to lead our incredible team.
This past December, we met as a team to discuss our priorities for 2024 and the driving force behind those priorities. The statistics that came up as a part of that conversation were staggering:
- 1 in 3 South Carolinians have a criminal record;
- Half of South Carolinians live at 200% of poverty or less;
- South Carolina has the 2nd highest medical debt in the nation;
- South Carolina expels more preschool children than any other state in the nation.
If those numbers astound you, they should. They astound us, too, and drive our determination to remove barriers to justice for low-income South Carolinians and change the system for the betterment of those caught up in it.
As we prepare to celebrate Appleseed’s 45th anniversary, I hope to pay homage to the integrity of what Sue built by continuing to build upon our core values. Doing so ensures our guiding principle is and will always remain the needs of the people that we serve. While our substantive work will change in response to those needs, the ability to pivot as circumstances require is inherent to who we are as an organization. Ultimately, by allowing our values and proven process to remain our true North, we ensure our future as zealous change-makers who advocate in all forums for systemic change. The year ahead will be a challenging one, and I welcome that challenge.
With boundless compassion & relentless hope,