Underground Railroad
conference planned

The Slave Dwelling Project, in partnership with Magnolia Plantation and Gardens and the National Park Service, is presenting a conference called "Uncovering the Underground Railroad: Perspectives in Freedom," scheduled for Nov. 2-4 at Magnolia Plantation, 3550 Ashley River Road.

The event consists of several presentations, interactive stations and a paddle boat excursion on the Combahee River.

Panelists include Shawn Halifax, a professional interpreter who leads the public history program for Charleston County Parks; Sheri Jackson, Southeast regional manager of the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Program; and Diane Miller, a Ph.D candidate at the University of Nebraska who has served as the national program manager for the National Park Service, National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom since 1999.

Other participants include singer Ann Caldwell, artist and storyteller Carolyn Evans and International African American Museum President Michael Moore.

The conference will use "exhibits, performances and demonstrations to educate attendees about documented evidence of escape, rebellion, Maroon Communities, and the southern movement that characterized the Underground Railroad. Presenters will dispel a number of misconceptions about the Underground Railroad still commonly held."

A welcome reception is scheduled for 5-8 p.m. Nov. 2 at the Charleston Museum, 360 Meeting St. Panel presentations are planned for Nov. 3 at Magnolia Plantation. Tickets are $25 each. For more information and a full schedule, and to register, go to http://slavedwellingproject.org/uncovering_underground_railroad/.

Grace Church donates
$100,000 to charities

Grace Church Cathedral Tea Room will donate $100,000 to 41 local nonprofits during its 11 a.m. service Sunday, Oct. 21. Over the course of 28 years, Grace Church will have given away $1 million collected thanks to Tea Room events.

All proceeds from the Tea Room, along with the Church Mouse Boutique, go to support local charities.

“The ongoing support from Grace helps us to provide between 160,000 and 180,000 meals every year," said One80 Place CEO Stacey Denaux in a statement. "Our partnership with Grace is particularly important because the soup kitchen began at Grace (in the early 1980s).” It evolved into an important part of the homeless shelter's operations.

This year, 4,208 lunches were either served or sold for takeout at the spring event. Almost $40,000 was raised from the sale of jewelry, art, silver and furniture donated by Grace members and sold in the Mouse Boutique. Thirty-one paintings were sold by local artists who donated a portion of the income to the Tea Room.

Among the Tea Room grant recipients this year are Alliance for Full Acceptance, Be A Mentor, Charleston Legal Access, Dee Norton Lowcountry Children's Center, Fresh Start Visions, Harleston Neighbor-2-Neighbor, Hibben Cold Weather Shelter, James Island Outreach, Lowcountry Orphan Relief, National Alliance on Mental Illness/Charleston, Rein and Shine, Shifa Free Clinic, Turning Leaf Project and Yo Art.

For more information about the Tea Room, go to www.gracechurchcharleston.org/tea-room-boutique.

—Adam Parker