Emanuel AME shooting survivors to speak at Democratic convention

Emanuel AME Church shooting survivors Felicia Sanders (left) and Polly Sheppard will speak at the Democratic National Convention later this month.

Two survivors of the Emanuel AME Church shooting will speak at the Democratic National Convention during a day themed “Working Together,” The Post and Courier has learned.

Felicia Sanders and Polly Sheppard will speak on July 27 in the middle of the convention held in Philadelphia to share their experiences. Both women survived a barrage of 77 gunshots that left nine people dead during their church’s Bible study last summer.

The Democratic National Convention Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign will announce later Monday much of a lineup of Americans from across the country who will share personal stories aimed at shining a spotlight on the stakes in this election, a Clinton spokeswoman said.

Survivors of the horrific shooting have been traveling nationwide to speak and otherwise support efforts to reform gun laws that they hope can reduce the nation’s epidemic of gun violence.

Just last week Sanders and Sheppard traveled to Washington, D.C., to attend a town hall with President Barack Obama that addressed race and guns followed by a “speak out” on the steps of the Capitol to support gun law reforms. Many called for closing the so-called “Charleston loophole,” which allowed accused Emanuel AME killer Dylann Roof to purchase the gun he used in the shootings.

Reach Jennifer Hawes at 843-937-5563 or follow her on Twitter at @JenBerryHawes.