Upstate Mediation Center Celebrates Two Influential Greenville Women: Poet Laureate Glenis Redmond and Judge Diane Smock

Greenville, SC – The Upstate Mediation Center (“UMC”) is proud to announce Greenville’s Poet Laureate Glenis Redmond received the 2022 Peacemaker Award on Tuesday, October 18, 2022 at UMC’s annual Peacemaker Celebration.  She was nominated for her service to humanity as a poet, educator, and communicator of peace.  Redmond has dedicated her life to coaching and uplifting youth poet’s voices. 

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, commissioned in 2019 by UMC, was created by Greenville artisan blacksmith Ryan Calloway.

The UMC also awarded former Greenville County Probate Court Judge Diane Smock with UMC’s Extraordinary Achievement Award at the Peacemaker Celebration.

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 felt it was time to look back and applaud her lasting achievements.