The Charleston Forum

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Charleston Music Hall

37 John Street

Charleston, SC 29403

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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

2018 Sponsors Include:


Bruce Law Firm

Charleston County Bar Association

City of Charleston

Duffy and Young

Gallivan, White and Boyd


South State Banke

Spike Bar Service

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Charleston Music Hall

37 John Street

Charleston, SC 29403

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