Penn Center Civil Rights Symposium

Penn Center on St. Helena Island, SC will host a Civil Rights Symposium on November 21 – 22, 2014 to facilitate greater state and regional understanding of the history of Civil Rights in South Carolina and country. The symposium will feature a number of national and regional scholars and activists, including Robert Moses, Cleveland Sellers, Millicent Brown, and more. SC Humanities supported this project with a Mini Grant in October 2014.

The Penn Center Civil Rights Symposium will include workshops, panel discussions, film screenings, and many more activities that will be of interest to a wide and diverse audience. A special emphasis will be placed on engaging youth, through an Intergenerational Civil Rights Congress Lunch on Friday, November 21 and a Youth Workshop Against Violence on Saturday, November 22. The full schedule of events will be available soon on

Penn Center Celebrating 150 Years of Education Leadership and ServicePenn Center is the site of the former Penn School, established in 1862 as one of the country’s first schools for freed slaves. Penn Center played an important role during the Civil Rights Movement, serving as the only location in South Carolina where interracial groups could have safe sanctuary for discussion, training, and community empowerment classes. The Penn Center Civil Rights Symposium will further inform local, state, and regional understanding of this important history.

For more information about the conference, please contact Victoria A. Smalls, Director of History, Art, & Culture at Penn Center at 843-838-2432 or

The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. SC Humanities programs and initiatives are balanced, reflecting sensitivity to the diversity of ideas, encourage open dialogue, demonstrate integrity, and are ethical in operations.


Image: Penn School with Students, courtesy of the Penn Center