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Published on April 8th, 2014 | by Millennium Magazine Staff

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Columbia SC 63 Receives Award Recognition for Historic Development and Preservation

Pictured above from L to R: Kim Jamieson, Ramon Jackson, Candace Cunningham and Dr. Bobby Donaldson. Committee members not pictured are Robin Waites and Carrie Phillips.

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Columbia SC 63, an initiative focused on commemorating and recognizing Columbia’s Civil Rights history, was recently honored with the “Preserving Our Places in History” award. Presented by the South Carolina African American Heritage Commission (SCAAHC), the honor recognized the impactful work Columbia SC 63 did in shedding a much needed light on Columbia’s Civil Rights history over the last year.

“The SCAAHC award is an affirmation of the incredible work and the powerful stories that have made the Columbia SC 63 project such a success,” said Dr. Bobby Donaldson, Columbia SC 63 lead historian and associate professor of history at the University of South Carolina. “It’s especially meaningful that this recognition comes from historians, preservationists, and community leaders from around our state.”

The award sought to identify a community project that had “significantly and dramatically influenced in a permanent way the preservation and interpretation of African American history and culture in South Carolina during the past year,” and the Columbia SC 63 committee was grateful to be selected.

In 2013, Columbia SC 63 hosted some 30 events and programs centered on the commemoration of the Civil Rights Movement of 1963 and more specifically Columbia’s noteworthy role during this pivotal time in the nation’s history.

Additionally, Columbia SC 63 partnered with local organizations like the Nickelodeon Theatre, to create a Civil Rights film series, entitled Civil Rights Sundays. The series featured period-specific films and documentaries throughout the year and held panel discussions with former activists following screenings.

Finally, Columbia SC 63 partnered with other Civil Rights Trail sister cities – Birmingham, Salem, Montgomery, AL, Jackson, MS, Memphis, TN and Washington, DC – to bring a national Civil Rights traveling exhibit, housed at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, to Columbia, SC in October of 2013.

“We look forward to continuing Columbia SC 63’s efforts in uncovering and telling the city’s Civil Rights history in the years to come,” said Robin Waites, Columbia SC 63 lead and executive director of Historic Columbia. “In conjunction with the Columbia Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau, we will work to ensure visitors and locals alike are aware of the immensely significant history that occurred on the streets of Columbia that played a vital role to how we live, work, interact, today.”

The mission of SCAAHC is to identify and promote the preservation of historic sites, structures, buildings, and culture of the African American experience in South Carolina and to assist and enhance the efforts of the South Carolina Department of Archives & History.

About Columbia SC 63:
To raise awareness and understanding of a truly pivotal chapter in American history, Columbia, South Carolina has joined several other Southeastern cities to commemorate 50 years since the height of the Civil Rights Movement. Comprising a diverse coalition of community leaders, educators, students, residents and others, Columbia SC 63 will explore remarkable accounts of strength, determination and sacrifice that define how and why “Our Story Matters” – historically and for the future – to South Carolina and to our nation. Columbia SC 63 is a partnership of the city of Columbia, Columbia Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau, Historic Columbia and the University of South Carolina. For more information about activities and events associated with this initiative please visit ColumbiaSC63.com.

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