Denise Quarles, daughter of Myra Quarles Singleton Thompson and Blondelle Coakley Gadsden, sister of Myra Thompson, along with Polly Sheppard, one of the survivors of the tragedy, led a group of family members and church members to plan the 2019 commemoration events.
“Each year we observe this day to mourn, with the Charleston community and the world, the senseless loss of precious lives from this horrific act of hate and to reflect on how we can contribute as individuals and as a society to ending racism during our lifetime,” Rev. Eric S.C. Manning, pastor of Mother Emanuel A.M.E., said.
The church invites the public to attend and participate in the following events:
June 12, 6:00 p.m. – Bible Study at Mother Emanuel AME Church, 110 Calhoun St.
Rev. Eric S.C. Manning, pastor of Mother Emanuel and Rev. Anthony B. Thompson, pastor of Holy Trinity Reformed Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston, will lead the session. Rev. Thompson has pastored at Holy Trinity since 2010 and his wife was among the nine individuals murdered in 2015. Following Bible study, the trunks of 15 cherry trees planted for the victims and survivors located at the Gaillard Center will be lit each evening until the conclusion of the Emanuel Nine commemoration.
June 13, 11:00 a.m. – The Susie Jackson/Ethel Lance Senior Citizens Luncheon at Mother Emanuel AME Church, 110 Calhoun St.
Senior members of Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church will have lunch in remembrance of Susie Jackson, 87, and Ethel Lance, 70, two members of the church’s senior group who were murdered in the 2015 tragedy.
June 14, 9:00 a.m. – Youth Empowerment Session entitled “Your Mind Matters” at Mother Emanuel AME Church, 110 Calhoun St.
Students from sixth to tenth grade will participate in a four-hour workshop designed to build self-esteem and empowerment skills needed to excel in school, the community and the workforce. Barbara H. Whye, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer and Vice President of Human Resources for Intel Corporation, will lead the workshop.
June 15, 11:00 a.m. – Book Signing and Author Talk by Rev. Sharon Risher, daughter of Ethel Lance, at the Charleston County Public Library, 68 Calhoun St.
For Such A Time as This: Hope and Forgiveness After the Charleston Massacre, is a story of transformation of how an anonymous hospital chaplain was thrust into the national spotlight, joining survivors of other gun-related horrors as reluctant speakers for a heartbroken social-justice movement. As she recounts her grief and the struggle to forgive the killer, Risher learns to trust God’s timing and lean on God's loving presence to guide her steps. Where her faith journey leads her is surprising and inspiring, as she finds a renewed purpose to her life in the company of other survivors.
June 16, 9:30 a.m. – Joint Worship Service at Mother Emanuel AME Church, 110 Calhoun St.
Rev. Eric S.C. Manning, pastor of Mother Emanuel AME and Rev. Anthony B. Thompson, pastor of Holy Trinity Reformed Episcopal Church, will lead a special Father’s Day service during which 15 individuals will receive Outstanding Service Awards in the areas of Emergency and Caring Response.
June 16, 1:00 p.m. – The Charleston Forum Expo, Charleston Bus Shed, 375 Meeting St.
The Expo will provide an opportunity for nonprofits with compatible missions addressing issues of race and social justice to share their stories with the public. Nonprofit organizations will be provided with free space to display information in the hope that each partner is able to find new volunteers, donors and followers to help guide their mission, as well as begin collaborations with similar entities leading to synergies and shared efforts. Local vendors and corporations will also be invited to display their business and share their mission towards social justice.
June 16, 4:00 p.m. – Charleston Forum, Charleston Music Hall, 37 John St., led by Rev. Eric S.C. Manning and Rabbi Jeffrey Myers of the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh
The Charleston Forum addresses sensitive issues of everyday life in a welcoming environment. The Forum encourages community members to share their perspectives and to serve as an open and respectful audience for others. This honest exchange among leaders from different backgrounds and among interested citizens is essential for significant progress. The Forum will advance the collective march to solutions in honor of the nine lives taken on June 17, 2015. To register, visit here: https://bit.ly/2IhZzgx.
June 16, 6:30 p.m. – “Morning Grace” Gospel Concert at Mother Emanuel AME Church, 110 Calhoun St.
June 17, 7:00 p.m.– A Day of Family Remembrance
No scheduled events.
June 17 and June 19 – Emanuel Nine Documentary Public Premiere
Filmed in the homes of victims’ family members and inside Mother Emanuel AME Church, the 75-minute award-winning documentary “Emanuel” was directed by Brian Ivie and Academy Award winner Viola Davis, a native of St. Matthews, and NBA basketball star Steph Curry as executive producers. “Law and Order: SVU” star Mariska Hargitay serves as a co-producer. Ivie is based in Los Angeles and co-founder of Arbella Studios, a production company dedicated to telling stories of faith and social justice.
Participating locations and screen times:
- Terrace Theater: 7:00 p.m., 1956D Maybank Highway on James Island
- Regal Palmetto Grande Stadium 16: 7:00 p.m., 319 Theatre Drive in Mount Pleasant
- Regal Charles Towne Square 18: 7:00 p.m., 2401 Mall Drive in North Charleston
Register to see the documentary here: https://bit.ly/2SXKu7m
June 18, 10 a.m. – Press Conference to Reveal Plans for the Susie Jackson Freedom Memorial Garden, Alexander & Calhoun Streets; Followed by the unveiling of "Susie Jackson Way" Signage and Fundraising Campaign Launch, Chapel and Alexander Streets
The family of the late Susie Jackson will hold a 10 a.m. press conference at the corners of Calhoun and Alexander streets to reveal plans for the Susie Jackson Freedom Memorial Garden. Immediately following, the family will unveil the Susie Jackson Way street sign at the corners of Chapel and Alexander Streets and will launch the fundraising campaign for the design and construction of the garden. The site will highlight an area formerly referred to as Cedar Court, a shortcut Jackson took to get to Buist Elementary School and Mother Emanuel AME Church. It will also create a public green space for neighborhood residents and library customers while honoring Jackson's love for gardening. The park will be paid for by fundraising efforts led by the Jackson family, the Charleston Parks Conservancy, the Mazyck-Wraggborough Neighborhood Association and others.
June 18, 5:00 p.m. – A Book Signing and Author Talk by Rev. Anthony B. Thompson, Husband of Myra Singleton Quarles Thompson, at the Charleston County Public Library, 68 Calhoun St.
In Called to Forgive: The Charleston Church Shooting, A Victim’s Husband, and the Path to Healing and Peace, Thompson makes an eloquent and intelligent case for Christian forgiveness, and his account of his pain, anger and recovery as the spouse of one of the murdered brings emotional immediacy to the story. An added strength is Thompson’s discussion of other examples of mass violence and responses to it, including the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, a 2006 Amish school shooting, and the 2018 Parkland, shooting. This riveting and optimistic account of coping with violent tragedy in a humane, honest way is highly worthwhile for any reader.
June 19, 6:30 p.m. – “Prayers for America” Bible Study and Candlelight Service at the Gaillard Center Lawn, 95 Calhoun St.
June 20, 8:30 a.m. – “Calling All Colors” Youth Forum at Mother Emanuel AME Church, 110 Calhoun St.; Buist Academy, 103 Calhoun St.; Citadel Square Baptist Church, 328 Meeting St.
Mother Emanuel AME Church and the Charleston arts community present a one-day camp for students to celebrate diversity and pursue racial reconciliation by discussing stereotypes and other race-related issues; The program will include brainstorming ways to promote ethnic openness and experiencing different cultures through art. The camp offers two age groups: 10-14 and 15-18. To register, visit: https://bit.ly/2Xrd1oQ.
June 23, 1:00 p.m. - A Book Signing and Author Talk by Rev. Sharon Risher, Daughter of Ethel Lance, at the Charleston County Public Library, 68 Calhoun St.
For Such A Time as This: Hope and Forgiveness After the Charleston Massacre (repeat event of June 15).
June 1-29 – Food Drive for the Lowcountry Food Bank at the Cynthia Graham Hurd St. Andrews Library, 1735 N. Woodmere Dr.
Please bring non-perishable items for the Lowcountry Food Bank during these dates.
June 1-29 – Reading Partners Book Drive at Charleston County Public Libraries, all locations
This month-long book drive is in honor of librarian Cynthia Graham Hurd, who was heavily involved with the region’s public libraries for more than 30 years and was murdered in the 2015 tragedy. Please bring new or gently used children’s books for students in kindergarten to fifth grade. This event is hosted by the Cynthia Graham Hurd Foundation, Reading Partners, CCPL, Live 5 News and Mellow Mushroom.
June 4 to 30 – The Life and Legacy of Cynthia Graham Hurd Exhibit at Charleston County Public Library, Main Library, 68 Calhoun St.
Visitors of this exhibit can view photos of librarian Cynthia Graham Hurd, who was heavily involved with the region’s public libraries for more than 30 years and was murdered in the 2015 tragedy.
June 11, 6:00 p.m. – Grace Will Lead Us Home: Book Signing and Author Talk by Jennifer Berry Hawes, Charleston County Public Library Main Library, 68 Calhoun St.
June 17, 3:30 p.m. – Love and Peace Beads, Charleston County Public Libraries, all locations
Catered to young adults, visitors to this event can create a band of love or peace for themselves or for others. Materials will be provided.
June 17 to June 22 – “A Moment of Silence…to Love” Display at John L. Dart Library, 1067 King St.
Visitors can post notes of gratitude to someone special. Children and teens will receive a free book from the Cynthia Graham Hurd Foundation while supplies last.
June 17 to June 22 – Pledge to Read for Kids and Teens, at Charleston County Public Libraries, all locations
Visitors can stop by any library location to sign a reading pledge. Children and teens will receive a free book from the Cynthia Graham Hurd Foundation while supplies last.
June 17 to June 29 – Stick Together: Community Art Project at Charleston County Public Libraries, all locations
The public can help assemble a 3,996-piece sticker mosaic. Appropriate for all ages.
June 18, 6:00 p.m. – A Book Signing and Author Talk by Rev. Anthony B. Thompson at Charleston County Public Library, Main Library, 68 Calhoun St.
Called to Forgive: The Charleston Church Shooting, a Victim’s Husband and the Path to Healing and Peace
About Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church
The roots of MEAMEC run deep in Charleston and its history is one of perseverance in the face of racial hostility. The church is affectionately called Mother Emanuel because it is the oldest A.M.E. church south of Baltimore.
The congregation first formed in 1791, a coalition of free blacks and slaves. In 1818, the church joined the A.M.E. connection. In 1822, the church was burned to the ground, after plans for a slave revolt were exposed. The congregation rebuilt the church and met there until 1834 -- when all black churches were outlawed by the state legislature. Undeterred, members continued to meet in secret until the end of the Civil War in 1865, when they formally reorganized.
They adopted the name 'Emanuel,' meaning "God with us." At the time, the church was a wooden two-story structure, and was destroyed in an earthquake in 1886. Once again, it was rebuilt. During the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, Mother Emanuel was the location for many of the meetings held by Martin Luther King, Jr. and others. Today, MEAMEC continues to have a national and international reputation for forgiveness and grace.
With seating for 1,200, Mother Emanuel has the largest seating capacity of any African-American church in Charleston. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.