Living Your Truth is a series of conversations with those on the front lines, who bravely and gracefully live the truth of their hearts within their formidable lives. Hosted by the Social Justice Racial Equity Collaborative Council, and convened by The Sophia Institute, it is our hope their words inspire and challenge each of us to find our own truths. Listen to them speak personally and passionately about their work for social justice, racial equity, and transformative change.


Mr. Tommy Preston Mr. Edward Rawl

Our Speakers

Mr. Tommy Preston

A native South Carolinian (Pickens County), Mr. Preston graduated cum laude with a degree in political science from the University of South Carolina and earned his juris doctorate from the University of South Carolina (USC) School of Law. As an undergraduate student, he was a Bill and Melinda Gates Millennium Scholar and served as student body president. Mr. Preston is the recipient of the prestigious Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, the highest honor awarded to a USC student.

A voice for improving education in South Carolina, he was selected by The State newspaper as one of the 20 Under 40 Leaders in the community and received the Columbia Chamber of Commerce’s Young Professional of the Year Award.  He is the founder of Cocky’s Reading Express™ (CRE), a statewide initiative dedicated to improving illiteracy. The program has provided more than 130,000 books to children in South Carolina. In 2014, the White House asked Mr. Preston to assist with the launch of President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative, a program to support the growth and success of young men of color. He also recently joined the Advisory Board for Teach for America South Carolina, an organization dedicated to strengthening the Nation’s movement for educational equity and excellence.

In addition to his work on education and youth issues, Mr. Preston is a national leader on issues related to preserving our nation’s judicial system and protecting citizens’ access to justice.  He serves on numerous committees in the American Bar Association (ABA) and National Center for State Courts. He is active in the ABA’s Young Lawyers Division and will become the national chair of the group in August. He also is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.

He remains active at his alma mater. He is the current president of the University of South Carolina Alumni Association. He is the youngest and first person of color in the University’s history to serve in this position. He also represents alumni on the University’s Board of Trustees.

Mr. Preston and his wife, Felicia, have two children, Charlotte and Benjamin.


Mr. Edward Rawl

Edward is “AV” Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell. He provides labor and employment related strategy, counseling, advice and litigation management across the Boeing enterprise with a geographic focus in Colorado, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas supporting Boeing Commercial, Defense, and Services businesses, as well as wholly owned subsidiary, Aviall Services, Inc.

Edward has appeared before state and federal tribunals in Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. Also appeared before the South Carolina Supreme Court, South Carolina Court of Appeals, and Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Edward is serving a three-year term on the ABA Board of Governors (2018 – 2021), serving on its Member Services Committee, Governance Subcommittee, as well as Liaison to the Young Lawyers Division and Standing Committee on Technology and Information Systems. He is the past Membership Director of the ABA YLD and Chair of the South Carolina Bar Employment and Labor Law Section

In 2016, Edward received the “Compleat Lawyer” from the University of South Carolina School of Law Alumni Council, the school’s highest award recognizing alumni for outstanding civic and professional accomplishments.

Edward was selected as one of the Midlands’ Legal Elite by Greater Columbia Business Journal Monthly Magazine from 2011 – 2016 and was selected for inclusion in South Carolina Super Lawyers – Rising Stars since 2012. Edward was the recipient of the 2011-2012 and 2013-2014 South Carolina Bar Young Lawyers Division President’s Medal.


The Social Justice, Racial Equity Collaborative

The Social Justice, Racial Equity Collaborative (SJREC), convened by The Sophia Institute, inspires collaborative action by advancing bold strategies that promote personal, structural and systemic change in social justice and racial equity through truth, healing, and transformation recognize the urgent need for systemic change around racial justice in Charleston. With its 37-member Council and multiple engagement partners, the SJRE Collaborative has a shared vision of a just, equitable, and thriving community where all people of all races are empowered to fulfill their potential.


More information about the Social Justice, Racial Equity Collaborative can be found by contacting its Co-chairs Audrey Lane at and Carolyn Rivers at


This is a free event. Interested participants are asked to register at The Sophia Institute website under Events at

Living Your Truth from The Sophia Institute on Vimeo.


Click here to for the complete Sophia Institute Calendar of Events.


6:00 pm – 8:00 pm


Mar 19 2020


$179 (until Feb 28)
$229 (after Feb 28)


Charity Missionary Baptist
1544 E. Montague Ave, North Charleston SC 29405