The Social Justice Racial Equity Collaborative’s ‘Living Your Truth’ to feature the Honorable Lucille Whipper and Linda Ketner

Lucille Whipper and Linda Ketner, two recent recipients of Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Charleston NAACP, will share their experiences breaking barriers in Charleston and South Carolina at Emanuel AME Church on Tuesday, January 23, 2018 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. The moderator of this conversation will be Patricia Williams Lessane, PhD, a cultural anthropologist and the executive director of the Avery Research Center at the College of Charleston.

Lucille Whipper

The Honorable Lucille Whipper, DHL is a life long activist, who has not only broken multiple barriers, but also worked tirelessly to reduce barriers for others. She was the first African American administrator at the College of Charleston and the SC Statehouse’s first African American female elected from the Charleston area. She wrote the College’s first affirmative action plan and organized the Avery Institute of Afro-American History and Culture Committee, which became the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture in 1990. While serving at the SC Statehouse, Mrs. Whipper cosponsored legislation to address health, education, and social issues and led the efforts to make marital rape a crime and to monitor state agencies’ hiring practices for minorities and females. She co-founded the Lowcountry Aid to Africa project in 2004 to help people and families impacted by AIDS, and she is currently the secretary of the International African American Museum Board of Directors.

Mrs. Whipper is the recipient of numerous awards including Honorary Doctorates of Humane Letters from Morris College, (1989), and the University of Charleston (1992); Legislator of the Year 1992, Mental Health and Human Services; SC Legislator for 1992, SC Chapter of National Association of Social Workers. She was inducted into the SC Black Hall of Fame in 1995 and awarded the order of the Palmetto in 1996. She was recognized as one of “Charleston’s One Hundred Most Influential since 1670” in the November 2007 issue of Charleston Magazine and received the Doctorate of Humane Letters from the College of Charleston in 2008.

She is the widow of Rev. Dr. Benjamin J. Whipper, Sr.. She is the mother of six children, including former State Representative Seth Whipper as well as a beloved grandmother and great-grandmother for a large extended family.

Linda Ketner

Linda Ketner is the President of KSI Leadership and Management Development, a committed advocate for social justice, and a former US Congress candidate. After years of organizational development within the corporate world, she now spends her time focused on leadership and community development. With a passion for affordable housing and ending homelessness, she was the founder and chair of Mayor Riley’s Council on Homelessness and Affordable Housing, a co-founder of SC Citizens for Housing, and former chairperson for the SC Housing Trust Fund. She is a co-founder and past President of the Alliance for Full Acceptance and the SC Equality Coalition, an active past chair of the Coastal Community Foundation, and former board member of the International African American Museum, the YWCA of the USA, the Hollings Cancer Center, and the Palmetto Project. Not only has Ms. Ketner been an adjunct professor of Complex Organizations and Leadership at the College of Charleston, she is a former member of the College’s women’s and gender studies program advisory board, has established the Ketner Emerging Leaders Scholarships, and currently serves on the President’s Community Advisory Board. She continues to oversee several grants to community organizations working for solutions to social problems.

Along with the NAACP’s Lifetime Achievement award in 2017, Ms. Ketner has been honored with a national Salute to Citizenship Award, the South Carolina Woman of Valor Award, the Girl Scout Woman of Distinction Award, the South Carolina Housing Achievement Award, the NAACP, J. Arthur Brown Award for Outstanding Service and Friends Awards, and the Urban League Arthur J. Clement Award For Race Relations. She holds a B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a M.A. from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro; and has received an honorary doctorate from Columbia College.

The Social Justice, Racial Equity Collaborative, convened by The Sophia Institute, seeks a just, sustainable, and thriving community where all people are empowered to fulfill their human potential. With its 37 member Council and multiple Engagement Partners, the SJRE Collaborative works from the inside out to recognize a healthy, diverse, and inclusive community grows out of an acknowledgement of interdependence and shared humanity. By addressing the challenges that emerge from structural and institutional racism, the SJRE Collaborative is working to transform Charleston into a more just and equitable place to live, work, and thrive.

More information about the Social Justice, Racial Equity Collaborative can be found at or by contacting its co-chairs Barbara Kelley-Duncan at [email protected] and Carolyn Rivers at [email protected]

This is a free event. Registration is requested to help with planning.

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