Monier “Mo” Abusaft has expressed community support through a number of interactions with various organizations. Rightly so, he has been recognized as Inclusion Advocate of the Year for his bipartisan creation of the $6,000,000 small and minority-owned business aid package through Spartanburg County Council. His commitment to his community is further demonstrated through his involvement as an activist, with non-profit organizations, and local youth athletic leagues. 

He holds a number of positions in the community. He is the only Democrat on Spartanburg County Council representing 55,000 Spartanburg citizens on Spartanburg’s Southside, Northside, Una, Arkwright, portions of Moore and Roebuck. Additionally, he is the former President and current Executive Board member of the Spartanburg Branch of the NAACP as well as the Spartanburg County Democratic Party’s Third Vice President. 

As the Founder of Spartanburg Juneteenth, Inc., a non-profit organization, he has helped facilitate the education of the Spartanburg community about African American history through an annual Juneteenth celebration that has been being held since 2016.  Its constituency is comprised of the broader Spartanburg Community with a particular focus on African American and under-served communities.  

The Annual Juneteenth Experience

As a former college athlete himself, he understands the power of athletics in the life of young people. He therefore supports multiple athletic teams including the Express Lane Track and Field Team, High Point Academy Girls Basketball Team, and Gaffney High School Varsity Football. The Express Lane Track and Field Team Family (ELTC) is an American Amateur Union (AAU) Track and Field Team organized to offer track and field experiences to Spartanburg County youth from ages 6-18 years of age. His help resulted in enabling national qualifying athletes to attend the Nation AAU Track and Field Championship events hosted at the sports venue of North Carolina A&T University in Greensboro, North Carolina. 

Mo also has a deep commitment to his local faith community. As a student at Wofford College, he was a recipient of the ELI fellowship for emerging leaders in the faith community. He continues this work in the faith community by frequent support of the Spartanburg County Ministerial Alliance. He is also the General Counsel for Mt. Moriah Baptist Church, one of Spartanburg’s historic African American congregations.

Additionally, his Chief of Staff, Deede Burgess, is noted as playing a pivotal role in the SC Spiders. This is a local basketball program created to give kids a chance to learn and play basketball at an exceptional level in an effort to facilitate admission into college with as little debt as possible. Her contributions aided in furthering the goal of the organization to not only help child participants, but also coaches, photographers and videographers achieve their aspirations in the industry.

SC Spiders Basketball Program

The SC Spiders is a local travel basketball program that was started in 2014 by me and my husband, Earl Burgess II. We started this program because we wanted to give my son and other kids a chance to learn and play really good basketball and hopefully get them into college with as little debt as possible. I am the General Manager of the program. I oversee locating and setting up gyms for practice, ordering uniforms, collecting funds for the program and much more. 

Our coaching staff consists of men and women who volunteer their time at least twice during the week for practice and between 2-3 weekends a month; some have kids on the team, most do not. 

We pride ourselves on not just helping the kids achieve their goals, but coaches, photographers, and videographers as well. We have had coaches who have only coached with our program to move on and get coaching jobs at school. Our photographers and videographers have been pretty successful with our program as well.

Since we started our program, we have been able to help secure quite a few scholarships for some of our players. That is the GOAL of our program.

Inclusion Advocate of the Year: Spartanburg County Council members Monier Abusaft and Jessica Coker were recognized for their bipartisan support of the small-and minority-owned business community of Spartanburg County.