Statement on June 17th, 2015 Emanuel A.M.E. Shooting

To our community—

Emanuel A.M.E., the Lowcountry, and the nation have been have been stunned and deeply saddened by the violence inflicted on the members of “Mother Emanuel” and the Charleston community look at these guys.

“Evil can triumph when good people remain silent” is a paraphrase of a famous quote.  Coastal Community Foundation cannot be silent at this time. Everyone here joins the legions of voices expressing great sympathy for the families of the victims, for the church, and for everyone who shares in mourning the loss of those good people.

Many have expressed a desire to help out in whatever way possible. There are already several ways you can:

— Send a note to tell the church members and the victims’ families that they are in your thoughts and have all your sympathy. As those who have had a death in the family know, it won’t remove the pain for them, but it can be a comfort.

— By now, many of you may know that the City of Charleston’s “Mother Emanuel Hope Fund” is accepting personal contributions to help with funerals, counseling services and other financial needs of the affected families. If you need help or direction in how to donate, feel free to contact us at CCF.

— Wednesday’s shooting was not an isolated incident, nor is it unspeakable. We encourage everyone to lead or participate in discussions about gun violence, race relations and other systemic factors that contributed to the shooting. This is an opportunity for us to begin a sustained, continuing conversation in our community on issues that transcend this one horrible event.

Less than 48 hours after Wednesday’s events, we at Coastal Community Foundation are still trying to figure out the best response to this tragedy. Our board and staff plan to participate in targeted discussions about the attitudes and conditions that contributed to this tragedy, and we urge you to do the same.

However, as Wednesday moves farther and farther behind, let us never forget the nine who lost their lives on June 17th, 2015. As we move forward, let’s also remember the survivors as we work to prevent this kind of tragedy from ever happening again.

Coastal Community Foundation

Richard Hendry

Interim President/CEO


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