The Race and Social Justice Initiative

The Race and Social Justice Initiative at the College of Charleston was founded in late June 2015 following a major grant from Google in response to tragic events in the Charleston, including the shooting death of Walter Scott by a police officer in April 2015 and the mass shooting at the Emanuel AME Church in June 2015.

The mission of the Race and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI) at the College of Charleston is to promote public awareness and dialogue about race and social justice issues in the Charleston area, the state of South Carolina, and beyond, through a collaborative effort led by the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture, Addlestone Library, the African American Studies Program, the Lowcountry Digital History Initiative (LDHI), and multiple community partners.

From the RSJI Blog

Meet Intern Bailey Wood

          Hi! I’m Bailey Wood, and I’m a senior African American Studies major at the College of Charleston. When I was a freshman, Dr. Jon Hale offered a class that focused on Charleston and the American Civil Rights Movement. After taking Dr. Hale’s class, I chose to follow this path of study. It was during Dr. Hale’s class that I first learned African American history was more extensive than what I was taught in high school. I chose this major to further my education on this topic and to teach others as well. This fall, I will be interning for the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture. While working at Avery, I hope to learn much about social programming, event planning, and outreach. As an African American Studies major, I am excited to work closely with Charleston’s finest social justice leaders as they seek to better our society through education. I also hope to make Avery more visible to the greater campus community because it is important for my fellow students to know why Avery was established and the many learning experiences it has to offer. Through my work at Avery, I expect to see social justice awareness grow on campus as well as in Charleston’s community. 

        For me, this semester is a full-time commitment. In addition to planning my wedding, I am a student, sever, and intern, which can be overwhelming at times. However, I am driven and determined to do well here at Avery and to gain some life-long experience. I am excited to be working with such a wonderful team this semester. There is a sense of pride that comes with working at Avery. It stems from the long history of wonderful men and women who attended the school and later fought for civil rights, many of whom still continue that fight today. 

        At Avery, I will be doing a couple different things. Right now, I am mainly helping with moving and organizing for the grand reopening. I will also be assisting with social outreach events. When Avery does reopen, I will potentially be giving tours and retrieving artifacts for researchers and patrons. It will be a fun experience here at Avery this semester!

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