Race Equity and Inclusion

The Department of History’s Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan

On October 5, 2020, the Department of History at the College of Charleston approved its Diversity and Inclusion Statement, in which it responded to both the recent protests in support of Black lives and the College of Charleston’s own Historical Review Taskforce. In creating this task force in June of 2020, The President of the College of Charleston, Andrew T. Hsu, stated that “History is part of our charm, and history is also our burden. In order for the College to address its history in a thoughtful and appropriate manner, I am creating a Historical Review Taskforce, which will be made up of campus scholars, researchers and other campus representatives, so that the College can ensure a more complete account of its story.”

In its Diversity and Inclusion Statement, the Department of History acknowledged its own historical shortcomings in its commitment to diversity and inclusion and made a commitment to transparently take concrete steps in order to support Black and other marginalized voices in the department and in its class offerings. This included offering antiracism training for all department faculty; these training sessions began in August of 2021. The Departmental Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan lists the concrete steps the department committed to pursuing, and which it continues to implement.

To read the Department of History's Diversity and Inclusion Statement and Departmental Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan in full, please click here.

The Department of History's Annual Black History Month Lecture

The Department of History at the College of Charleston’s Annual Black History Month Lecture was developed in support of the Department of History’s Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan, specifically the following action item: “We commit to planning events and talks that center on issues of race, racism, and inclusion, including annual programming that supports the campus’s activities related to Black History Month.” This initiative further supports the College of Charleston’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. The purpose of the lecture series is to bring leading historians and cutting-edge scholarship in the field of Black History to the College of Charleston and the surrounding community.

The second Department of History Annual Black History Month Lecture, "The Bonds of Racial Inequality in Postwar America," featured Dr. Destin Jenkins, Assistant Professor of History at Stanford University, and was held on February 25, 2022. This lecture was co-sponsored by the Center for Sustainable Development.


The inaugural lecture on February 16, 2021, “Uncontrollable Blackness: African American Men and Criminality in Jim Crow New York,” featured Dr. Douglas Flowe, Assistant Professor of History at Washington University in St. Louis.


Race, Equity, and Inclusion Programming Supported by the Department of History

Antiracist Education through Digital Local History: A Virtual Roundtable from the Department of History at the College of Charleston, November 19, 2020

Organized by Dr. Rachel Donaldson and Dr. Elisa J. Jones from the Department of History, this roundtable was designed to meet the needs of local public history practitioners and graduate students interested in diversity, equity, and inclusion as a practice. Bringing together experts in local public history, oral history, archives, museums, and digital history, this conversation addresses the problem of developing antiracist public history digital initiatives and provides a map of best practices for antiracist education and long-term planning in local public history. While the discussion is wide-ranging, the examples are based in Charleston and the Lowcountry region.

Panelists include Rachel Donaldson, Assistant Professor of Public History at the College of Charleston; Elisa J. Jones, Assistant Professor of History at the College of Charleston; Mary Battle, public historian and content developer at Ralph Appelbaum Associates; Aaisha Haykal, Manager of Archival Services at the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture at the College of Charleston; Marina Lopez, Community Archivist and Assistant Director of the Citadel Oral History Program; and Leah Worthington, Digital Projects Librarian and Associate Director of the Lowcountry Digital Library at the College of Charleston.

 The Long Afterlife of Brown v Board: A Commemoration of the Landmark Supreme Court Decision and Its Legacy, March 27, 2019

Dr. Shannon Eaves, Assistant Professor of History at the College of Charleston, planned and facilitated this moderated discussion, with Dr. Millicent Brown, whose 1963 court case desegregated Charleston public schools, and Mrs. Caroll Turpin, who was the first black student to integrate Barnwell High School. Together, these women shed light on the urban and rural experience of Jim Crow and the psychological impact of systemic racism.