The architectural beauty of the College of Charleston campus has long been a defining and celebrated feature of the university. But the full story of how many campus buildings came to be is not widely known.

A committee of faculty and staff hope to change that with a new documentary project titled If These Walls Could Talk. Part of several projects surrounding the College’s 250th anniversary, the documentary centers on how enslaved Africans contributed to the construction of College buildings.

“This documentary is the first in CofC’s diversity docuseries that will take viewers on a transformative journey with reflective questions prompting them to discover, embrace and positively respond to the College of Charleston’s pluralistic history,” says Charissa Owens, director of diversity education and training in the Office of Institutional Diversity and the project’s leader. “We are intentionally building a bridge for healthy reconciliation efforts by producing a film series that captures the narratives of marginalized individuals who contributed to the first municipal college in the United States.”

The docuseries will be used as part of diversity training on campus. Click here to view a trailer of the documentary, and to make a donation in support of the documentary project, visit

Featured image of Charissa Owens by Heather Moran.