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Meet the Founder

Barry E. Knighton, MSW
President, The Vineyard Foundation

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My Story

Ever since I was a kid, I have been passionate about my community and world affairs. I often dream of attacking issues of poverty and inequality in my community, using the fire of my faith as the fuel for making a difference. Through the Vineyard Foundation, I can make a difference using social work principles for community outreach, educational initiatives, and leadership development both locally, statewide, and internationally!

A native of the Lowcountry of South Carolina, raised in both Hardeeville, SC, and Charleston, SC with Ghanaian Ancestry from the Central Region and Greater Accra Region. Barry is a graduate of the University of South Carolina, having received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History with an emphasis in Secondary Education and a Master's Degree in Social Work concentrating on Health and Mental Health. Currently, he is working on a Doctor of Education in Education, Policy, Organization, and Leadership with a concentration in Human Resource Development at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Barry comes from the South Carolina Department of Social Services and has worked as a Program Coordinator II in Program Evaluation and Contract Monitoring, Staff Development and Training as a Child Welfare Curriculum Coordinator, and as a Family Preservation Case Manager. As a Program Coordinator II, Barry monitored and provided technical assistance to non-therapeutic child-placing agencies responsible for working with foster care and the UofSC School of Law Criminal Justice Act Task Force which leads the development and operation of programs designed to improve the direction of child abuse and neglect cases, the handling of suspected maltreatment related fatalities, and the investigation and prosecution of child abuse and neglect. Barry also worked for the South Carolina Primary Health Care Association as a Health Care Access Coordinator. There, he worked with outreach staff in South Carolina's community health centers providing technical assistance and training in implementing strategic outreach quality assurance best practices, advocacy, and healthcare access to vulnerable populations.

Barry is passionate about community initiatives and outreach, advocacy, mentoring, and global humanitarian and child advocacy issues, having completed social work mission projects in Ghana with Projects Abroad as a humanitarian volunteer teaching at New Life Nungua School & Orphanage; HIV/AIDS Education & Outreach at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, and leadership development & educational outreach with the FaFali Organization, the Reliance Charity Foundation, and Jerremmites International School.

Currently, Barry works for the South Carolina Department of Children's Advocacy as the Director of Quality Assurance for the Cass Elias McCarter Guardian ad Litem program which appoints court-appointed special advocates for children of abuse and neglect. Also, he services as Adjunct Professor in the College of Social Work at the University of South Carolina.

In addition, Barry enjoys traveling, college sports, whitewater rafting, and international food in his spare time.


Barry's Motto is: "The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership." —Harvey Firestone


I'm always looking for new and exciting opportunities to serve. Let's connect and impact our world through faith, love, empowerment, and humanity.

(877) 885-8973

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