Campus Candlelight Vigil Honors Victims of Emanuel AME Church Shootings

Campus Candlelight Vigil Honors Victims of Emanuel AME Church Shootings

Roses on the gates of Porters Lodge honor the victims of the Emanuel AME Church tragedy.

Roses on the gates of Porters Lodge honor the victims of the Emanuel AME Church tragedy.

UPDATE: Due to inclement weather, the candlelight vigil will be held indoors at Wells Fargo Auditorium in the Beatty Center, 5 Liberty St.

Members of the College of Charleston community will gather in the Cistern Yard at 6:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015, to hold a candlelight vigil in honor of the victims of the shootings at Emanuel AME Church.

The “No Violence – No Victims Candlelight Vigil” is sponsored by the College of Charleston’s  Office of Victims Services, S.C.O.P.E. (Safe Campus Outreach, Prevention and Education Peer Team), and the Students Affairs Task Force. The event is open to the public. Battery-powered candles will be provided.

Scheduled speakers include Floyd Breeland, director of the College’s Call Me MISTER program and a former member of the S.C. House of Representatives; President Glenn McConnell ‘69; student Trevor Jones, president of Student Ambassadors; student Meagan Dunham, S.C.O.P.E. coordinator; and Kalene Parker, president of the Black Student Union.

The College of Charleston Trippintones and the College of Charleston Gospel Choir will perform musical selections throughout the vigil.

See the full program agenda for the No Violence – No Victims Candlelight Vigil.
Cynthia Hurd

Cynthia Hurd

For many members of the campus community who were not in Charleston at the time of the shootings on June 17, 2015, the candlelight vigil is an opportunity to come together publicly in support of the victims and their families.

The shootings claimed the lives of nine of the church’s members and left behind three survivors. Among those killed was Cynthia Graham Hurd, a part-time librarian at the College’s Addlestone Library.

“Whether someone is a lifelong Charlestonian or has lived here only a couple of months, we are all members of this community, and it is important that we show our support and compassion for the victims of this senseless act of violence,” McConnell says. “When Charleston grieves, the College grieves.”

Earlier this week, a portion of Calhoun Street – a main corridor that stretches across the Charleston peninsula and runs past the church as well as the College’s campus, was renamed “Mother Emanuel Way Memorial District.”

Prior to the vigil, Robert Taylor, a CofC student and member of Emanuel AME Church, will give a presentation about the history of Emanuel AME Church. The presentation begins as 6 p.m. in the Admissions Office Auditorium, located across George Street from the Cistern Yard.

Now in its eighth year, the candlelight vigil is held annually to honor those whose lives have been affected by violent crime.