College of Charleston students are invited to submit artwork, projects and poetry to be included in the second phase of the College of Charleston Committee for Commemoration and Landscapes’ exhibition in the Thaddeus Street Jr. Education Center Septima Clark Memorial Auditorium. The contest deadline is Friday, Feb. 9, 2024. The artwork should convey ongoing efforts and work needed in Charleston to address issues related to racism, sexism and economic inequities – the themes and values that Black educator, leader and activist Septima Poinsette Clark expressed through her own life.
Aiming to present Clark’s life and legacy in a way that is meaningful and relevant for students today, the initial phase of the exhibition opened in March 2023 and highlighted Clark’s role as a teacher, activist and leader, as well as her involvement in the civil rights movement and her creation of the Citizenship School program.
“To me, Septima Clark has been a maternal figure, a sorority sister of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. and an icon in whose footsteps we all hope to follow,” says Valerie Frazier ’91 (M.P.A. ’94) , associate professor of English and director of the 1967 Legacy Program. “With these student contests named in her honor, we hope to introduce the mother of the civil rights movement – born here on the CofC campus at 105 Wentworth Street – to a new generation.”
Phase two of the exhibition will showcase how students at the College of Charleston are actively engaged with the exhibition themes and College of Charleston values.
- Activism projects are student-powered collaborations that tackle race, equity and inclusion head-on. Students may enter an activism project through this form.
- Poetry should include powerful verses capturing the tireless push for equality, inclusion and racial justice in Charleston. Poets may enter poetry through this form.
- Artwork should showcase the continued efforts and vital work toward achieving racial equality and inclusion here in Charleston. Artists may enter artwork through this form.
The contest deadline is Friday, Feb. 9, 2024. On Thursday, Feb. 15, all entrants will be honored and winners will be announced. Winners will receive a cash prize. Then, on Thursday, March 28 at 5 p.m., the exhibition in the Septima Poinsette Clark Memorial Auditorium will open with a celebration of the student winners and a presentation of the history of Clark’s sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha, which is still active in Charleston.
To learn more, visit the College of Charleston’s Discovering Our Past website.
The Committee on Commemoration and Landscapes was formed in 2021 by College of Charleston President Andrew T. Hsu. Its charge is “to make recommendations for interpretive signage on campus that presents complete and accurate information about the College, and that communicates our institution’s commitment to truth-telling and our 21st-century values of diversity, equity and inclusion.”