Often, when I write about race, I frame the word in quotation marks or italicize it to highlight it for the reader. I want the reader to pause over the word, and reflect on its complex meanings rather than gloss over it, or pass it by as though it were inconsequential. I want to engage the reader in meaning-making. I want the reader to know that I am saying something that requires reading between the lines, and looking for the unspoken, or implied meanings that this powerful word connotes.

The surest sign of spring on Hilton Head Island comes in mid-March, when the island gathers on Pope Avenue for the Hilton Head Island St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

This year’s 34th annual edition of the parade is set for 3 p.m. Sunday, March 12, and offers a chance for residents to forget about the struggles of Hurricane Matthew recovery for a while and celebrate the sense of camaraderie that makes Hilton Head so special — all while having a fantastic time.

A new chapter in the history of the University of South Carolina Beaufort began Feb. 10 with the official groundbreaking for the new Hilton Head Island campus on Office Park Road. When completed, the facility will house the USCB hospitality management program including undergraduate education, a center for the hospitality industry and executive education, a teaching and learning facility for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and a civic gathering place and resource for the community. The facility is expected to open in the fall of 2018.

Bluffton Town Council recently voted to change its code and allow food trucks to operate in town limits. Food truck operators must obtain a business license, pay an annual fee of $400 to the town and must operate at least 200 feet away from an established restaurant without permission from the owner. The trucks will be allowed to operate between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m.

The newest attraction at Palmetto Bluff is the Artists in Residence Cottage at Moreland Village. The cottage is a collaboration by Palmetto Bluff, Garden & Gun magazine, Court Atkins Group and Shoreline Construction. Featured artists include Jonathan Green, Betty Anglin Smith, Mandy Johnson, Addison Palmer and Mark Stewart. Much of the art in the cottage was curated through the Red Piano Gallery. 

locomotionAre you ready to do the LoCo Motion again? Then get ready for some big changes in the 2017 edition. This year, the venerable fitness challenge, which brings thousands of pink-clad runners and walkers to Hilton Head Island, Callawassie Island and Haig Point from all over the globe, makes its triumphant return with one huge difference. Rather than simply “Doing the LoCo Motion,” the small army that descends on the Lowcountry will be “Pledging the Pink.” The name change from LoCo Motion to Pledge The Pink came about as the inevitable result of the community’s homegrown race gaining massive global appeal and reach.

Bluffton High School is one of only a few South Carolina schools approved to implement an innovative program that helps students develop skills valued by colleges and employers. The new AP Capstone program, scheduled to begin in the 2017-18 academic year, will become a new school choice in addition to Bluffton High’s current offerings of Project Lead the Way and Acceleration Academy.

The Beaufort County Board of Education recently approved the academic calendar for the 2017-18 school year. The first day for students will be Aug. 21, and the final day of classes will be May 31. The 2017-18 calendar includes a longer winter break, a preference indicated by parents and district employees in online surveys. Schools will be closed for holidays on Sept. 4, Labor Day; Nov. 22-24, Thanksgiving; Dec. 21-Jan. 8, winter break; Jan. 15, Martin Luther King Jr. Day; and March 30, Good Friday.

In 2016, Travel + Leisure magazine readers voted Hilton Head Island as the best island in the continental United States. Hilton Head could earn the honor again in 2017 as it has been listed among 23 islands that readers are voting on at travelandleisure.com. Last year, Travel + Leisure wrote, “Even as the secret about Hilton Head gets out, repeat visitors say it hasn’t lost any charm.

The Island Recreation Center will be closing its doors March 17 for renovations. After-school Rec Club will be moving to Hilton Head Island Elementary School and Hilton Head Island Elementary School for the Creative Arts starting March 20. The schools will also host Island Rec’s All Day Summer Camp. Summer camp registration is open, and will remain open all summer. Island Rec’s full-time staff will be relocated to a mobile office starting March 20 in the Rec Center’s parking lot.

Please join us as the Town of Hilton Head Island hosts five community forums focused on entertainment, arts, culture, and heritage on the Island. All residents and visitors are encouraged to attend and provide input and ideas.

The Town's Venue Committee was asked by Town Council to recommend, if needed, the cost and funding mechanism of a possible venue(s) that will satisfy the needs of the community.

The LightsEarth Hour will roll across the globe from 8:30-9:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 25, uniting individuals, communities and organizations in 178 countries and territories. The event is held worldwide annually encouraging individuals, communities, households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights for one hour as a symbol for their commitment to the planet.

Coastal Living magazine recently ranked Hilton Head Island as No. 7 on its list of “Happiest Seaside Towns in America” for 2017. Coastal Living chose its finalists based on their ranks on the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, as well as the percentage of clear and sunny days, healthiness of beaches, walkability, commute times, standard of living, financial well-being of local residents, crime ratings, geographic diversity and the editors’ own assessment of each town’s “coastal vibe.” Editors highlighted Hilton Head’s mild weather, golf courses, beaches and the sophisticated food and culture scene. 

As part of the private re-development work occurring at Sea Turtle Marketplace, the contractor will be temporarily closing portions of the Town's multi-use pathway adjacent to the site. Temporary closures of segments bordering the eastbound lanes of William Hilton Parkway (US 278) and the western side of Mathews Drive are anticipated. The closures are necessary due to the construction of the shopping center. Pathway closures are expected to be encountered from Wednesday, February 8th, 2017 through the end of February on an as-needed basis. Pathway users are asked to use extra caution in this area and be alert for the temporary closures and associated traffic control, and to use detours as indicated by signage.

Funding

The Finance & Administrative Committee met on 1/30/17 to discuss disaster-related expenses and the process for reimbursement. A future Finance & Administrative Committee meeting later this month will include discussion of potential ways to pay for the expenses. The 1st draft Project Worksheet for FEMA reimbursement of Category A - Public Assistance (Debris Removal) expenses was received from the FEMA project team on Friday, 2/3/17. It is currently under review by staff and once obligated by FEMA will allow for reimbursement through the State EMD.

Editor’s Note: This is the second part of an article printed in November. Dr. Gloria Holmes is professor emeritus at the School of Education at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut. Committed to promoting cultural literacy in schools and communities, she has worked as a diversity trainer for the Anti-Defamation League and has conducted anti-bias workshops for the Connecticut State Department of Education. Holmes is presently writing a book on school leadership and social justice.

Part II: Whose ‘story’ is it, anyway?

“We are trapped in our history, and our history is trapped in us.” —James Baldwin, author of “Notes of a Native Son”