The Race and Social Justice Initiative


The mission of the Race and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI) at the College of Charleston is to promote public awareness and dialogue about race and social justice issues in the Charleston area, the state of South Carolina, and beyond, through a collaborative effort led by the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture, Addlestone Library, the African American Studies Program, the Lowcountry Digital History Initiative (LDHI), and multiple community partners.

Background and Objectives

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. As new events and projects develop through RSJI, the project team will continue to update this page.


Google, Coastal Community Foundation, Charleston County Public Library, SunTrust, Starbucks, the SC Community Loan Fund, South Carolina Humanities, the International African American Museum (IAAM), the Women’s Resource Project, Inc., the Sophia Institute, the Avery Institute, the Phillis Wheatley Literary and Social Club, the College of Charleston Friends of the Library, and the Carolina Lowcountry and Atlantic World Program (CLAW) at the College of Charleston.

Avery Research Center is not open for tours or walk-in researchers. Researchers must schedule a consultation before making an appointment.