Members of Charleston's Emanuel AME Church and its supporters will hold an anti-gun violence and racial reconciliation rally in June that will draw 1960s peace movement folk singer Joan Baez and others to Marion Square.

The gathering, timed for the third anniversary of the mass shooting that killed nine church members during Bible study inside Emanuel, is being billed as a "call to action."

Baez recently released her version of "The President Sang Amazing Grace," a cover of Zoe Mulford's song about President Barack Obama's appearance in Charleston for the funeral of slain Emanuel pastor Clementa Pinckney.

The nine Emanuel victims were shot June 17, 2015, by a racially motivated gunman.

The rally is set for 9 a.m. to noon June 23. It is part of various commemoration events that week tied to the anniversary of the church attack.

Other speakers include family members of the victims, political figures and entertainers. Among them are the Rev. Dr. Jamal H. Bryant of the Empowerment Temple AME Church in Baltimore, Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg and activist Bree Newsome.

Emanuel Rev. Eric Manning said he expects thousands of people to take part.

The goal is to emphasize "love is always stronger than hate," he said.

Church member and City Councilman William Dudley Gregorie said Baez agreed to take part and will stop in Charleston after returning from France, where she is currently touring.

He expects the crowd to be as many as 5,000 people.

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Reach Schuyler Kropf at 843-937-5551. Follow him on Twitter at @skropf47.

Political Editor

Schuyler Kropf is The Post and Courier political editor. He has covered every major political race in South Carolina dating to 1988, including for U.S. Senate, governorship, the Statehouse and Republican and Democratic presidential primaries.

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