Cultural Pluralism

At once friendly territory for advocates and allies of minority groups and familiar terrain for ethnic and cultural nationalists, Charleston is an ideal location for programming on the countless questions of identity and belonging in a rapidly changing United States, and how those questions are dealt with in the unique environment of the American South. With a rapidly growing — and diversifying — population, the Lowcountry is home to large minority communities of various ethnic backgrounds, faiths, and identities. Demographic change in Charleston is emblematic of change is the United States as a whole, and the Charleston Council for International Visitors draws on that change to arrange powerful programming on issues related to cultural pluralism.

Recent Visits

Europe (multi-regional projects)Multi-ethnic Society
West Africa (regional project)Race and Social Justice
Africa (regional project)Tolerance & Interfaith Dialogue

Focus Areas

Race and Social Justice

The City of Charleston can trace the history of some of its minority communities (such as the Gullah) to the 17th century, and the arduous, often heartbreaking path to the present for those groups provides a solid foundation on which to build an understanding of the challenges facing minority communities and their efforts to secure representation and equitable treatment at the state, local, and national levels.

Sexuality and Gender Identity

Charleston is home both to advocacy organizations like the Alliance for Full Acceptance and to Christian universities legally permitted to discriminate against students on the basis of sexuality or gender identity.

Religious Tolerance and Counter-extremism

From the civically-engaged congregation of the Central Mosque of Charleston to the nationally-familiar name of Emanuel AME Church, many of Charleston's faith communities are active in efforts to promote tolerance and counter extremism within and among all religious groups.

Visit Spotlight

Africa | Tolerance and Interfaith Dialogue

Religious and nonprofit leaders from several African nations attended a Sunday service at Emanuel AME church shortly after the June 2015 shooting. The visitors were welcomed to the pulpit and recognized by church leadership.

Visitors also paid respects at a memorial for shooting victims outside the church.