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College of Social Work

Episode 1: Welcome to Fostering a Difference

*The opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not represent the College of Social Work or the University of South Carolina.* 

The College of Social Work is excited to begin a podcast with Kirk Foster, Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. In this first episode, Foster explains the purpose of the podcast and some of the issues that will be discussed.


Kirk Foster: Welcome to this new podcast, Fostering a Difference. I’m your host Kirk Foster, and thanks for joining me on this journey. This is my first episode - the first episode of this podcast, and the first episode of any podcast that I have done. So nothing exciting; just me talking about what we plan to talk about. 

I do want to say that doing a podcast well is a lot more work than I ever envisioned. So let me say thanks to everyone behind the scenes who make me sound smart and put together. And I know that there are a million podcasts out there on just about every topic you can possibly conceive of. Some of you might be voracious consumers of them and others just dabble here and there. Friends tell me all the time; shoot me texts or shoot me emails about podcasts that I should subscribe to or specific episodes in podcasts that they say are a must listen.

So I fully understand the options you have and appreciate you stopping by today. But I hope you come back and visit, and I hope you come back and listen to what I believe are important conversations, and conversations that I know we need to have here in this country. 

Kirk Foster: And so I'm not going to pretend that this podcast is necessarily revolutionary. But what I do know is that when you return, you'll find important conversations with people who are making a difference in the world. Some of these may be local to South Carolina or even more local to Columbia, South Carolina. Other conversations may be regional or national. Regardless, the conversations that we will have will have national appeal.

As we line up guests and prepare topics, we're interested in discussing real issues and real problems in America. Problems and issues that require careful thought and strategies to address. Sometimes the conversations may be raw and emotional. Sometimes they may be jovial and uplifting. But they'll always address social issues that need tackled. Many podcasts talk about things that need changed, but I'm interested in uncovering truths and motivating you, the listener, to do something about it. 

Kirk Foster: In my role as associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion at the University of South Carolina College of Social Work, I've written too many statements about tragedies and injustices perpetuated in America. I am over statements... I am really over statements and conversations that don't lead to us making a difference. So this podcast will speak truth to power, and I hope in some way, inspire you to go out and make a difference and give you the tools to make a difference in your corner of the world. It's not enough just to listen; we need to do.

Our ears need to be opened and our eyes need to see. Our mouths need to speak and our hands need to pick up the difficult tasks and our feet need to walk us down that path. And hence the title of this podcast, Fostering a Difference. I hope you will join us on this journey. Feel free to submit suggestions for topics and speakers through the college website at

Thanks for joining me today. Go out and make a difference. 

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.