Congressman, Civil Rights activist, Lt. Gov. join hands in racial reconciliation

CAMDEN AND CHARLESTON, S.C. – U.S Congressman Trey Gowdy (standing) joined famed Civil Rights activist Dr. Cleveland Sellers, S.C. Lieutenant Governor Pamela Evette, and nearly 100 guests for a reception and dinner at the home of Tom and Virginia Ann Mullikin in Camden, Mon., June 17.

The dinner was attended by numerous state legislators, members of the judiciary, business leaders and others (pictured L-R are Sellers, Gowdy, Mullikin, and Evette). The evening concluded with a vigil memorializing the nine persons slain at Charleston’s historic Emanuel AME Church exactly four years earlier; and served as the kickoff event for the 2nd annual RECONCILIATION RIDE from Columbia to Charleston.

“We began this two-day memorial event last year in honor of my very good friend, the late S.C. Senator Clementa Pickney, who was among the nine victims of that terrible attack in 2015,” says Mullikin. “We established the Reconciliation Ride as a means of advancing racial reconciliation and engaging all in this complex, difficult and necessary conversation going forward.”

Three separate destination-events followed Wed., June 18, including a tour of the University of South Carolina’s Civil Rights Exhibit in Columbia. Guests then boarded a chartered bus for a short journey to – and a tour of – the historic Liberty Hill AME church enroute to Charleston. Arriving in Charleston, guests enjoyed a visit to Emanuel AME Church followed by dinner and a memorial service.

Emanuel Church is said to be the oldest AME church in the South and the home of one of the oldest African-American congregations south of Baltimore.

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Author: W. Thomas Smith Jr.

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