The Citadel will host a group of authors for a panel that will touch on the shooting at Mother Emanuel Church and the importance of diversity and inclusion, according to a Tuesday night press release.
"Authors Bernard Powers, Marjory Wentworth, and Herb Frazier will speak to cadets, students, faculty, staff, and members of the Charleston community about the ideas represented in their new book We Are Charleston: Tragedy and Triumph at Mother Emanuel,"
the statement reads.
Powers is a professor of history at College of Charleston, while Wentworth is a Massachussetts native who was named South Carolina's poet laureate in 2003. Herb Frazier is a former reporter who held jobs at The State
and The Post & Courier
The discussion seems to be a course correction meant to make up for Friday's planned visit by former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon. Bannon, now the chief at Breitbart News, will speak at the student-led Republican Society's annual fundraising dinner on Fri. Nov. 10.
"The faculty and staff examined what was happening, and the feedback on the Citadel Republican Society’s invitation of Steve Bannon, and just wanted to make sure there was some alternative programming available for people who wish to do something other than that," said Citadel vice president for communications and marketing Col. John Dorrian.
"We think that this kind of conversation is really important to have," he added.
Campus will close early on Friday in order to accommodate the event and ensure for the safety of protesters expected to gather outside of the Holliday Alumni Center, according to a statement released by Citadel president Lt. Gen. John Rosa on Monday.
Academic offices that support cadets will open at 7 a.m. Friday and close at 1 p.m. Other offices will leave campus by noon.
Dorrian also reiterated the public university's commitment to the safety of attendees and protesters.
"We have worked very closely to those who have worked to have a peaceful rally here to make sure we can conduct the event safely," Dorrian said. "We’re every bit as committed to their ability of them to express their views as we are to the Citadel Republican Society and Mr. Bannon."
The panel discussion is free and open to the public.