“Stand up for our children who are getting by on the minimum. A serving profession is what we all should be doing.”–comment from audience member at Marian Wright Edleman’s Race and Social Justice Initiative Lecture on March 1, 2016
Formation of the Race and Social Justice Initiative
In late June 2015, the Avery Research Center, Addlestone Library, African American Studies, and the Lowcountry Digital History Initiative (LDHI) at the College of Charleston received a major grant from Google to launch the Race and Social Justice Initiative in response to recent tragic events in the Charleston area, including the shooting death of Walter Scott by a police officer in April 2015 and the mass shooting at the Emanuel AME Church in June 2015. With this support, RSJI is working with numerous partners to facilitate public events, exhibitions, and various projects that promote awareness of the history and ongoing struggles of racial injustice in Charleston, South Carolina, and throughout the United States.
Goals and Objectives of the Race and Social Justice
- Establish RSJI as a Community Hub for connecting social justice advocacy networks and disseminating educational resources to empower systemic change.
- Facilitate accessible Public Programming that includes major speaker events, community forums, and leadership training initiatives.
- Develop Innovative Research and Outreach through visiting experts and innovators who will initiate groundbreaking studies, collaborative projects, and public programming.
- Lead Communication efforts to promote public awareness about essential race and social justice initiatives and milestones.
- Launch Civic Engagement Activities that feature faculty, student, and community development and work- shops designed to engage and inform participants about tools and strategies to promote equity and legislative/policy changes.
- Promote Leadership Training and Community Organizing by convening forums and information sessions to mobilize local and regional stakeholders — particularly social justice advocates and leaders from marginalized communities—including African Americans, Gullah Geechee community members, the working poor, and members of the LBGT community
- Provide Access to Educational Resources by distributing learning materials through community partners and developing an engaging RSJI website and social media presence that highlights RSJI programming, online educational resources, the work of local and regional advocacy groups, and much more.
- Build the Infrastructure of RSJI through programming and public outreach required to effectively make RSJI a central anchor for carrying out social justice work.