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Galen McWilliams

Pronouns: She/Her

"I believe that abolishing the death penalty is an important step toward creating a more just South Carolina and a state I'm proud to live in. My role as a board member of SCADP is finding grants and networking to advance our organization’s goals. I’m proud to be in leadership of an organization that works for justice and lives out my biblical command to do justice, show mercy and walk humbly with my god (Micah 6:8)."

My Story

Justice is a theme in my life’s purpose as a social worker.  After retiring in 2018, I have continued to foster my personal growth and that of my local community. I am focused on my spiritual development, studying various forms in book groups, online classes, and conferences. Over the past 3 years I’ve been heavily involved with a consortium of churches in Columbia, MORE Justice, that works with local officials to reduce gun violence and to start an affordable housing trust fund. I am interested in racial inequities and am working diligently to educate myself. I participate in the SCADP book club monthly and recommend it.


Prior to my retirement I worked for justice. I began my career as a paralegal, then as a computer programmer (coder), both in New York City.  After marriage, a move to Columbia, SC, and two children, I returned to school for a master’s degree in social work at the University of South Carolina.  I then spent 14 years with an advocacy effort funded by the SC legislature to strengthen teacher education in SC, culminating in a change in the law with the passage of the Read to Succeed Act in 2014.  I was a mentor to a disadvantaged child in the public school system for nine years and witnessed many of the challenges of systemic racism.


I’ve served on two other boards: Sistercare, which provides services and advocacy for survivors of domestice violence and their children; and St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church Foundation, both in leadership and grant-making to organizations providing essentials to local residents.

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