On Thursday, April 21, 2022, Charissa Owens, director of diversity education and training in the College of Charleston’s Office of Institutional Diversity, will be presented with the 2021 Preserving Our Places in History Project Award for the production of the 2021 documentary, If These Walls Could Talk, at the WeGoja Foundation’s Cultural and Historic Preservation Conference and Awards Luncheon.
Presented in collaboration with the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor, the Reconstruction Era National Historical Park and the Civil Rights Center for History and Research, the annual conference and luncheon will be held at the South Carolina Archives and History Center in Columbia, South Carolina. This year’s conference theme is “Historic Preservation: One Step Closer to Social Justice.”
“This is a great moment for the College,” says Owens, the documentary project’s leader. Featuring the research and expertise of College faculty, staff and students highlighting the university’s complex history as well as efforts to create a more diverse and inclusive campus community, the 40-minute film, says Owens, is “blazing a trail for the College.”
Recognizing outstanding efforts in preserving African American history and heritage, the Preserving Our Places in History Project Awards will be presented by Bernie Wright, director of the Historic Penn Center, and Rep. Robert Williams, S.C. District 62, with Louis Venters of Francis Marion University presiding as the master of ceremonies.
The WeGOJA Foundation assists and enhances the efforts of the South Carolina Department of Archives and History and supports the South Carolina African American Heritage Commission in promoting the preservation of historic sites, structures, buildings and culture of the African American experience in South Carolina.