Join friends Professor Damon Fordham, author, historian, and Professor at the Citadel, and Brandon Fish, Director of Community Relations for the Charleston Jewish Federation, for a robust discussion about Black and Jewish identity in Charleston. In this discussion facilitated by Dr. Felice Knight, Director of Education at the International African American Museum. Panelists will share their personal journeys to their current roles, the intertwined history of Black and Jewish Charleston, and the ways these communities continue to intersect around the most difficult issues of the day. Fordham and Fish became friends on the front lines of grassroots civil rights activism in Charleston during the emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement, and continue that work through their professions today.

Speaker Bios

Brandon Fish is the Director of Community Relations for the Charleston Jewish Federation, where his work revolves around advocacy, government affairs, and intergroup relations. Since 2017, he has served the Jewish community and the Charleston community at large through the development of collaborative fresh food distribution programs in food deserts, building meaningful intergroup relationships, and expanding Jewish communal consensus-based advocacy. In 2018, Fish helped found the Stamp Out Hate SC Coalition to advance hate crimes legislation in South Carolina, and currently sits on the Boards of several issue-based statewide coalitions and the Charleston Interreligious Council. In addition to local work, Brandon serves on the Policy Advisory Committee for the Jewish Council for Public Affairs. Prior to his work in the Jewish community, Fish was an active advocate and organizer for a number of grassroots Charleston organizations, including being a founding member of Charleston’s first Black Lives Matter organization.

Damon Lamar Fordham was born in Spartanburg, SC on December 23, 1964 to Anne Montgomery and was adopted by Pearl and Abraham Fordham of Mt. Pleasant, SC the following year. He received his Master’s Degree in history from the College of Charleston and the Citadel, and his undergraduate degrees at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. He is currently an adjunct professor of World Civilizations, United States, and African-American History at Charleston Southern University and The Citadel in Charleston, SC and has taught US History and African-American Studies at the College of Charleston. He was a weekly columnist for the Charleston Coastal Times from 1994 to 1998, as well as the author of The 1895 Segregation Fight in South Carolina (Charleston: History Press, 2022), Mr. Potts and Me (Charleston: Evening Post Books, 2012) Voices of Black South Carolina-Legend and Legacy (Charleston: History Press, 2009), True Stories of Black South Carolina (Charleston: History Press, 2008) and coauthor of Born to Serve-The Story of the WBEMC in South Carolina in 2006.

Research and articles by Mr. Fordham appear in the books Sweetgrass Baskets and the Gullah Tradition by Joyce Coakley, South of Main by Beatrice Hill and Brenda Lee, The Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Folklore for the University of Missouri Press, Cecil Williams and Sonny DuBose’s Orangeburg 1968, and The Malcolm X Encyclopedia for the University of Southern Mississippi Press in 2001. He has also commented on history and storytelling for numerous radio and television programs in the United States, Canada, Japan, and the United Kingdom. He was on a ten day tour of Senegal and Gambia, West Africa, with fellow educators where he spoke to students at the University of The Gambia and toured the Slave Posts and Goree Island in May 2022 .

He has also appeared on the NBC LX News in 2022. He conducts a walking tour called “The Lost Stories of Black Charleston, and has received a citation form the South Carolina House of Representatives for his work in education, historical research, and social justice. His motto is Educate yourself to lead yourself, for if you wait on others to show you the way, you will wait for a long time.

Moderated by: Dr. Felice Knight – Director of Education, International African American Museum

Living Your Truth is a series of courageous 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, educate,  and challenge each of us to find new understandings about our shared humanity.  Listen to them speak personally and passionately about their work for social justice, racial equity, and transformative change.


1:00 pm – 2:15 pm


Oct 12 2023


This virtual event is free to attend


Virtual Program
Join us via Zoom Conference