YWCA program on racism takes on new meaning after shooting by North Charleston officer

Garcia Williams

A YWCA program on racism takes on new meaning after a white North Charleston police officer fatally shot an unarmed black man Saturday morning.

The “Requiem on Racism: The Peoples Mass to End Hate and Bigotry,” was planned for April 26 at Mother Emanuel AME Church at 110 Calhoun St. well before the incident in North Charleston. But the shooting put the service in new perspective.

Publicity for the event that was released Thursday noted that the killing of Walter Scott was another example of “the continuing trend of clashes between opposing groups over social justice.”

“The historic delay of Loretta Lynch’s confirmation as U.S. Attorney General; racist chants on a bus trip of University of Oklahoma fraternity students; and the LGBT, business, sports and civil rights communities’ stand against ‘religious freedom’ legislation in Indiana and Arkansas are just a few issues urgent to our April 26 event,” Garcia Williams, interim director of the YWCA of Greater Charleston, said in a statement.

Kerri Forrest, a former national television news producer who is YWCA’s board chair, also noted the timing of the program.

“When everyday citizens are talking about Selma and Starbucks in the same breath, there’s more at stake than mere media hype,” she said in a statement. “We may be facing a more serious societal crisis.”

Reach Dave Munday at 937-5553.