Unseen Greenville

Imagining a community where progress and opportunity benefit everyone

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Unseen Greenville is a project of The Greenville News seeking solutions to challenges faced by the neighborhoods and people of our community left behind by our forward progress.

About the Project

Description Image

Many are familiar with Greenville's jewel of a downtown and recognize what a special place our community has become. But they know little about the neighborhoods and people who live just a few miles from downtown's fabled Main Street, the beauty of Falls Park and myriad cultural treasures, boutiques and restaurants.

Our June 9 forum sponsored by PNC Bank and attended by 700 set the stage for a year-long exploration by The Greenville News designed to light a path forward that bridges neighborhoods and cultivates our racial and ethnic diversity. Unseen Greenville is designed to do 3 things:

  • Spark Ideas

    Get thinking about ways everyone can share in our progress.

  • Find Solutions

    Turn ideas and conversation into action that points to solutions.

  • Work Together

    Bridge gaps and gather key players at the table to affect change.

The Plan

Put a face on Unseen Greenville

Introduce Greenville to the unseen neighborhoods and the people who live there. Create opportunities for them to share their stories and for others to listen.

Identify challenges

Develop an understanding of the issues and problems by spending time in these communities to hear directly from the people who face these challenges.

Highlight good work

Learn more about the people and organizations working on solutions to learn what's working, close gaps and get out the word about available resources.

Foster ideas

Create an environment where ideas can be shared, refined and acted upon. Help people find a way to coalesce around projects and participate in solutions.

Find resources

Identify human or financial capital needed to address the challenges, and bring stakeholders to the table who have the necessary resources and tools.

Measure success

Define success and regularly assess progress. Convene a community forum in summer 2016 to report back to the community our accomplishments.

Areas of Focus


A lack of transportation has emerged as a theme that runs through every area of focus from jobs to education to health care.


A critical piece to economic opportunity is ensuring that everyone has an opportunity to go beyond a high school education.

Health care

Many lack access to preventative health care and too often rely on emergency services for routine medical treatment.


Economic development has pushed some out of their homes, fragmenting neighborhoods and forcing people to move away from nearby jobs.

Greenville County By the Numbers

Children living in poverty
Unemployment rate
Adults without HS diploma
Lacking health insurance

Meet Our Journalists


Social Issues

Angelia writes about non-profits and social issues impacting our community.



Liv is exploring issues surrounding access to health care and healthy living.



Nathaniel is examining the education needs of the Unseen community.



Eric is diving into gentrification and the impact of private development on neighborhoods.

Clarke Burns


Amy is taking a look at challenges with expanding access to public transportation.

Community Forum

On a hot, rainy night in June 2015 more than 700 people attended The Greenville News community forum sponsored by PNC Bank to hear seven storytellers speak from the heart about challenges faced by many in our community.

Watch the Video

Support for the Project

  • "The Riley Institute at Furman University applauds the effort by The Greenville News and its sponsors to draw attention and action for the 'Unseen' in our area. The series of Greenville News articles, the forum earlier this month at the Kroc Center, and the News's earlier series on the homeless are critically important to all of us. Let’s talk, listen and learn, and then let’s get busy building a more inclusive Greenville."

    Don Gordon, executive director of the Riley Institute
  • "We feel our work will be greatly enhanced by the energy and commitment of the many citizens responding to the stories you are highlighting."

    The United Way, Community Foundation, Hollingsworth Foundation
  • "Maybe people who have been working with those in our community who are now called “Unseen” can feel some hope that finally the meter will be moved up a little for those who have so much to offer when they are helped to find ways to overcome the structural barriers."

    Beth Lindsay Templeton, founder & CEO of Our Eyes Were Opened

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I do to help?

Area non-profits offer numerous opportunities to volunteer time and resources.

Where can I learn more about this project?

UnseenGreenville.com offers a wealth of information about the project. We are continually updating the site with new information, including ongoing coverage of the issues and solutions.

Where can I send my ideas?

Visit our WhatIf page to post your suggestions, find ideas shared by others and have an opportunity to leave comments, up vote your favorites and get plugged into the ones you want to get involved with or follow.

How will you measure success?

We are in the process of defining success and identifying the metrics we will use to measure our progress.

Will there be more forums and events?

Yes. We're planning to hold neighborhood meetings and small-scale forums. Follow @UnseenGVL on Twitter for updates and watch for coverage in The Greenville News and on GreenvilleOnline.com.

How do I get my organization's work recognized?

If your group or organization is doing great work in our community, let us know by contacting Angelia Davis at davisal@greenvillenews.com.

We want to hear from you

If you have questions about the Unseen Greenville project, use the contact form above or reach out to one of us. We'd be happy to talk about the initiative and how to make it better.

William Fox,
managing editor
Beth Padgett,
editorial page editor
Troy Turner,
special projects editor