CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – As the 5th anniversary of the Mother Emanuel AME church shooting arrives, many commemorations will be taking place in honor of the victims and survivors.
The Mother Emanuel Memorial Foundation Board and Mother Emanuel AME Church announced the launch of a new website in memory of the Emanuel Nine as well as details planned for a unity march on June 21 in downtown Charleston.
Five years into planning and raising funds for a permanent memorial to honor the Emanuel Nine, the Mother Emanuel Memorial Foundation Board unveiled a new memorial website focused on social justice initiatives.
The website hosts continuously updated information and provides multiple ways to donate by supporting the Emanuel Nine Memorial, the church’s capital campaign and various victims’ foundations. Visit emanuelnine.org to donate or learn more.
To honor this event, from 1-3 p.m. on June 21, the church and city of Charleston will lead a unity march through downtown Charleston beginning at the Maritime Center at 10 Wharfside St. traveling down Calhoun St. to the Mother Emanuel AME Church at 110 Calhoun St.
Selected speakers, including family members of the Emanuel Nine and representatives and the family of Walter Scott will address the call for racial justice and equality sweeping the nation.
“In years past, we have observed this day in mourning,” said Rev. Eric S.C. Manning, pastor of Mother Emanuel AME Church. “This year, while we continue to grieve, we must honor the Emanuel Nine by actively promoting anti-racism within our community and by providing a safe space to engage in important conversations.”
The permanent memorial will be located on church grounds and will provide a much-needed space for self-reflection and to engage in meaningful discussion about important issues, from equal rights to second amendment rights.
The Emanuel Nine Memorial will incorporate educational outreach programs designed to reverse racism through experiential learning and will continue to develop programming opportunities geared towards social justice and equality.
“Now more than ever, people need a place to unite in peace,” said John Darby, Mother Emanuel Memorial Foundation Board co-chair. “This memorial will offer sacred ground for safe dialogue, because the most important action we can take right now is to come together and facilitate conversation for change.”