Upstate Mediation Center Announces 2022 Peacemaker Award and Extraordinary Achievement Award

Glenis Redmond 2022 UMC PeacemakerGreenville, SC – The Upstate Mediation Center (“UMC”) is proud to announce that the 2022 Peacemaker recipient is poet and teaching artist Glenis Redmond. Redmond has dedicated her life to coaching and uplifting youth poet’s voices. She co-founded a literary program called Peace Voices in Greenville from 2012-2019, and she is a Kennedy Center Teaching Artist and a Cave Canem poet. Her work has been showcased on NPR and PBS and has been most recently published in Orion Magazine, the North Carolina Literary Review, Obsidian Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora, StorySouth, About Place, Carolina Muse, and The New York Times. In 2020, Redmond received South Carolina’s highest award, The Governor’s Award for the Arts. Redmond was nominated for her service to humanity as a poet, educator, and communicator of peace.

Dr. Judith Prince nominated Redmond stating, “Glenis Redmond’s life is a harbinger of peace through her words, her work, and her gentle being. Locally, statewide, nationally, and internationally, Glenis speaks “peace” wherever she goes whether she is presenting poetry about the Black experience, teaching teachers and students how to tell their own stories or writing and speaking poetry about peace. She is the epitome of the UMC Peacemaker!”

The UMC Board of Directors feel that Redmond’s work in the Upstate and nationally exemplifies the purpose the Peacemaker Award.

The Peacemaker Award is designed to recognize a member of the community who has made a significant difference in promoting tolerance, building good will and understanding, resolving conflict, and striving for peace.

Redmond’s name will be added to a plaque recognizing past Peacemakers at the Peacemaker Bench in Cleveland Park. The Peacemaker Bench was commissioned in 2019 by UMC and created by Greenville artisan blacksmith Ryan Calloway.

Diane Smock Extraordinary AchievementThe UMC also announces that former Greenville County Probate Court Judge Diane Smock will be awarded UMC’s Extraordinary Achievement Award.

When the great recession hit, the UMC lost most of its operational funding and faced closing its doors. Former Judge Diane Smock understood the important role the UMC played in our community and its court system. On a temporary basis Judge Smock volunteered to take over the helm and attempt to right the ship. She sought out and collaborated with local grant partners who contributed not only much needed immediate operational funds but additional funds to develop programs that would generate sustainable revenue.

All UMC’s services are provided by volunteers. Judge Smock implemented programs to recruit, train, and retain volunteers and provide resources for the staff and volunteers. Her temporary leadership lasted three years during which the UMC experienced a cultural transformation and financial turnaround. Her innovative policies are still in effect today, and the UMC Board of Directors feel it is time to look back and applaud her lasting achievements.

Both awards will be presented at UMC’s Peacemaker Celebration on Tuesday, October 18, 2022 at Endeavor.