On October 12, 2016, St. Joseph’s Pope Francis Forum for Dialogue and Diversity (PFFDD) and Carolina High School partnered to bring the authors of We Are Charleston: Tragedy and Triumph at Mother Emanuel to our campus. Written by Herb Frazier, Dr. Bernard Powers, and Marjory Wentworth, the book recounts the June 2015 mass shooting at Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, SC, and the story of how the congregation and city found a way through the tragedy. The book places the A.M.E. Church in its historical context in both Charleston and in the American social justice story.
Students from St. Joe’s and Carolina High began the evening by briefly sharing how the tragedy impacted them personally, and also their thoughts on moving forward to create a society that embraces differences rather than reacts with violence. After their introduction by St. Joe’s senior Kevondrea Haynes, the authors presented on their work and the particular expertise that each of them brought to the project. The result is a rich, multifaceted examination of Mother Emanuel and the way the city embraced the attitude of the families who lost loved ones in the shooting – to forgive, and to work for justice.
This event was another success in our partnership with Carolina High, which continues to provide wonderful opportunities for our students and theirs to foster greater understanding between people of different backgrounds in Greenville, and consequently the world. Many thanks to Jennie Neighbors, High School English teacher and PFFDD moderator, for her efforts in making this event possible.