Jonathan Boncek file
A makeshift memorial for the nine victims of the 2015 shooting at Mother Emanuel in downtown Charleston. The shooter, white supremacist Dylann Roof, was convicted of 12 hate crime charges in federal court in 2016.
Leaders from Charleston's minority community will gather to talk through the city's recently-approved hate crime law on Wed. Feb. 20 at the Charleston Museum.
Beginning at 6 p.m., Mayor John Tecklenburg will introduce the city's "hate intimidation" ordinance, which passed City Council unanimously in November.
The law punishes intimidation based on "perceived race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical or mental disability, or national origin" with a $500 fine, 30 days in jail, or both — the maximum penalties the city can impose.
Police Chief Luther Reynolds will speak about the importance of law enforcement in combatting hate crimes, according to a press release issued by the police department. Other speakers include Allison Padilla-Goodman of the Anti-Defamation League, Charleston resident and Holocaust survivor Joe Engel, and Mother Emanuel shooting survivor Jennifer Benjamin Pinckney.
Panelists for the Q&A portion include Central Mosque of Charleston President Shahid Husain, Rabbi Moshe Davis of Brith Sholom Beth Israel synagogue, and LGBTQ activist Vanity Reid-Deterville.
"I’m just interested to see what comes out of it," said Melissa Moore, the former head of We Are Family, a local nonprofit focusing on LGBTQ youth. "I’ve noticed there are gonna be a lot of good people who are gonna be on the panel."
The Alliance For Full Acceptance, a local LGBTQ advocacy group, and the NAACP will host a reception at JohnKing Bar and Grill, 428 King St., after the forum.
You can register for the forum online now.