Our Mission

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.

- Our Background

Born out of the tragedy at Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church, 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. The Forum, now an annual event, has hosted over 40 local and national speakers and more than 1,800 participants.

Each year, the discussed topics at the Forum will change to allow a deeper understanding of Charleston’s racially tangled history and provide solution-based ideas, but one thing remains the same – we will continue to have conversations that lead to a more unified tomorrow.

- Our Mission

The goal of The Charleston Forum is to facilitate movement from our shared moment following the Mother Emanuel massacre. The Committee seeks to harness our community’s realization of the need for and power of unity and to leverage the nation’s identity with Charleston. We recognize that we will not overcome racial barriers without open discussion to share what behaviors and institutions are perceived as problems by some, why they are, and how we might respond so that those social issues can be deprived of their divisiveness. We therefore seek to create a forum that excites national interest in open discussion, promotes understanding of different views, and shares ideas for progress. We strive for Charleston and South Carolina to be recognized as leaders in addressing racial issues and as a community that refuses to allow June 17, 2015 at Mother Emanuel to become just another historical marker.

Committee Members

  • Sheriff Al Cannon
  • Colonel Tom Clark
  • Reverend Joe Darby
  • Jennifer Decasper
  • Brian Duffy
  • Karen Fetter
  • Ted Fienning
  • Reverend RaShan Frost
  • Debra Gammons
  • The Honorable Deadra Jefferson
  • Sam Johnson
  • Senator Marlon Kimpson
  • John Linton
  • Reverend Eric Manning
  • Otha Meadows
  • Edward Mercer
  • Reverend Kylon Middleton
  • Scott Moise
  • Dr. Bo Moore
  • Matthew Morgenstern
  • Christina Mortti
  • Reverend Dr. Barbara Nelson
  • Pastor Philip Pinckney
  • Matthew Richardson
  • Joseph P. Riley, Jr.
  • Dr. Robert Scharstein
  • Bakari Sellers
  • Grayson Smith
  • Mayor John Tecklenburg
  • Rick Wade
  • Rick Quinn
  • Ayinde Waring
  • Hal Whack
  • Mike Whack
  • Gregory Whitaker
  • J. Rutledge Young, Jr.

Committee Members

  • Sheriff Al Cannon
  • Colonel Tom Clark
  • Reverend Joe Darby
  • Jennifer Decasper
  • Brian Duffy
  • Karen Fetter
  • Ted Fienning
  • Reverend RaShan Frost
  • Debra Gammons
  • The Honorable Deadra Jefferson
  • Sam Johnson
  • Senator Marlon Kimpson
  • John Linton
  • Reverend Eric Manning
  • Otha Meadows
  • Edward Mercer
  • Reverend Kylon Middleton
  • Scott Moise
  • Dr. Bo Moore
  • Matthew Morgenstern
  • Christina Mortti
  • Reverend Dr. Barbara Nelson
  • Pastor Philip Pinckney
  • Matthew Richardson
  • Joseph P. Riley, Jr.
  • Dr. Robert Scharstein
  • Bakari Sellers
  • Grayson Smith
  • Mayor John Tecklenburg
  • Rick Quinn
  • Rick Wade
  • Ayinde Waring
  • Hal Whack
  • Mike Whack
  • Gregory Whitaker
  • J. Rutledge Young, Jr.