A Message from ULI SC District Council Chair, Irene Dumas Tyson

Irene Dumas Tyson ULI

We just don’t know.

These were my words to you in March as life was beginning to change radically for us. In March, did we imagine how radically? I didn’t.

And then, the death of George Floyd changed life even more radically, and we are still trying to figure out where we go from here. Do we know?

One thing that I do know, we have to acknowledge these changes and, not only vow to be better, but to BE BETTER. To be better leaders in building communities that are equitable, just and prosperous for all. To be better listeners and not only advocate for but live in a better way that supports the common good. To be better, we have to embrace change with passion, humility, wisdom and… dare I say… love.

The ULI SC Management Committee and Governance Committee, during our July strategic planning retreat, committed to change. We, by the very nature of this pandemic, have changed how we engage with members. We committed to remaining a premiere, trusted organization within the city-building industry. Most importantly, we committed to leading the way to ensuring that zoning, land use, financing and development practices in South Carolina will no longer discriminate or marginalize our black population. We committed to addressing race and equity head on and to inspiring a new culture of inclusivity within ULI SC.

The heart of our mission is to be leaders in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. We are committed to creating thriving communities in South Carolina, and each of us is needed.

Serving as District Council Chair these past two years has been such a privilege and a lot fun. We have accomplished so much by growing our membership and increasing the quality and quantity of programs within the Midlands, the Upstate and Coastal as well as record participation and impact of the Capital Markets Conference and the Carolinas Meeting. All of these are the result of the dedication, wisdom and creativity of our leadership team and the amazing shepherding of our Executive Director, Amy Barrett. To the members of the Management Committee and Governance Committee, thank you for your service and for allowing me to steer the ship a while.

To our sponsors, your investments and support of our mission are the fuel of our District Council. We need you now more than ever before with continued financial support and as our partners to BE BETTER. You make us better.

Jeff Baxter, as our new District Council Chair, will be a visionary leader for the changes ahead, and I look forward to sharing the journey with him through the Governance Committee.

The Athenian Oath was recited by the citizens of Athens, Greece over 2,000 years ago. Its words remain relevant today, particularly as we commit ourselves to creating thriving communities. The closing sentence sums it up pretty well.  

Thus in all these ways we will transmit this City, not only not less, but greater and more beautiful than it was transmitted to us.

This is our charge as members of ULI SC: to transmit our cities and towns greater and more beautiful than they were transmitted to us. Let’s do this.

In hope,

Irene Dumas Tyson
ULI SC District Council Chair, outgoing and incoming Governance Committee ChairPS: What is your idea of a thriving community? Please email me – your opinion matters.

Read the entire July 2020 ULI Newsletter