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The Charleston Forum next month to focus on racial issues

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Emanuel AME Church shooting anniversary events

The second anniversary of the June 17, 2015, massacre at Emanuel AME Church will include a range of events to remember those who died and survived the tragedy. File/Brad Nettles/Staff

Charleston's conversation on race that began in the wake of the Emanuel AME Church massacre will continue next month with a forum featuring a diverse group of speakers.

The Charleston Forum on June 16 will focus on racial issues, including economics, education, policing and criminal justice. The event is billed as an opportunity for leaders with different perspectives to identify problems and solutions and for residents to follow up with their own ideas on an accompanying online forum.

The event runs from 5 to 10 p.m. in Charleston Music Hall, 37 John St.

“We must embrace these opportunities to come together and listen to one another,” said Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg. “It is only by gaining an understanding of our different perspectives, backgrounds and experiences that we can create a united vision for a brighter future.”

Tecklenburg is among those scheduled to speak at the forum, which was developed by the Charleston County Bar Association. Others include U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C.; state Sens. Gerald Malloy, D-Hartsville and Marlon Kimpson, D-Charleston; former Mayor Joe Riley; CNN's Margaret Hoover; and Malcolm Graham, brother of Cynthia Graham Hurd, who was killed in the Emanuel massacre.

Performers include the Paula Boggs Band with the Mother Emanuel AME Choir.

Tickets to the event are $10, with proceeds going toward development of the associated online forum. Organizers say the forum committee also will work to ensure everyone who wants to attend gets in.

For tickets and a full list of speakers, performers and sponsors, go to

Brian Duffy, chairman of the forum’s planning committee, said the event will tackle issues facing the city, state and nation.

"Charleston has been the center of many historic moments in our nation’s history and, tragically, the events of June 17, 2015 are among them," he said. "Through the Charleston Forum, our community will be the center of a positive legacy of progress in race relations in our country.”

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