The Charleston Forum is a community project that strives to provide a dialogue that moves the conversation forward, with no pre-set agenda but with a common purpose.
The Charleston Forum began in 2016 as a group of local political, business, educational and religious leaders who wanted to provide an outlet to discuss race across many different topics. On June 16, 2017, the Forum hosted their first event to a crowd of over 900 people.Over 30 local and national speakers providing insight on the topics of economics and education, policing and criminal justice, the future of the past, and the Charleston experience.
This year, The Forum has a narrowed focus on overcoming racial disparities in education and economics. We encourage speakers to provide solutions to the basic disparities identified in the Racial Disparities Report released by the College of Charleston. The program will be broken into two panel discussions – the touchstone for the education panel is this: white students in Charleston County graduate at a rate of 91%; black students graduate at a rate of 75%. The economics panel will address this fact: the median income for white families ($64,553) is more than double that for black families ($29,799).
Confirmed Speakers Include:
Sue Berkowitz, SC Appleseed Legal Justice Center
Paris Dennard, Thurgood Marshall College Fund
Michael Moore, International African American Museum
John Read, Tri County Cradle to Career
Faith Rivers James, The Citadel
Bakari Sellers, Attorney and CNN commentator
Alana Simmons, Hate Won’t Win
Elliot Smalley, Public Charter School District