Living Your Truth Series

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.

Speakers: Mayor John Tecklenburg and Mr. Damon L. Fordham

                               Mayor John Tecklenburg                                     Mr. Damon L. Fordham                      

Mayor John Tecklenburg, is the Mayor of the City of Charleston. Tecklenburg graduated from Georgetown University and attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston where he pursued his lifelong passion for music and jazz. He founded, owned and operated Southern Oil Company for nearly 20 years.

Upon selling the business, he served as Director of Economic Development for the City of Charleston, where he helped lead the revitalization of Upper King Street. Since becoming mayor in 2016, Tecklenburg’s efforts include improving city-wide livability, implementing the City of Charleston Sea Level Rise Strategy, addressing housing affordability and homelessness in Charleston and working to revitalize West Ashley. Tecklenburg and his wife Sandy, who reside in Old Windemere, are the parents
of five grown children.

Damon L. Fordham is a historian, professor, author and lecturer. Fordham graduated from the University of South Carolina and received his Master’s Degree from the College of Charleston and the Citadel. Fordham has taught US and African-American History at Virginia College, Charleston Southern University and the College of Charleston.

A former weekly columnist for the Charleston Coastal Times, he is the co-author of Born to Serve-The Story of WBEMC in South Carolina, and the author of Mr. Potts and Me, Voices of Black South Carolina – Legend and Legacy, and True Stories of Black South Carolina. Fordham also served as a commentator for documentaries for the BBC and SCETV, as well as South Carolina radio networks. He is a member of Friendship AME Church.

Moderated by Marion Gill

Moderator, Marion Gill is the Director of Museum Planning & Operations at the International African American Museum (IAAM), scheduled to break ground in early 2019. Prior to joining the IAAM, Marion was with the Smithsonian Intuition (SI) for more than 30 years. During her tenure at the SI, she played key roles in the planning and opening of two museums: the National Museum of the American Indian in 2004, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture in 2016. Marion has received numerous awards throughout her career including being recognized as an “Unsung Hero” during the Smithsonian’s 150th anniversary celebration. She is an alumna of the Northfield Mount Hermon School and holds a BA in Political Science from Fisk University. Marion is proud fourth-generation native Washingtonian and is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.

This is a tuition free event.  Registration is requested for planning purposes.

PARKING:  There are two parking garages near Mt. Zion A.M.E. Church that have hourly rates.  They are located at 69 Wentworth Street and 34 St. Phillip Street.


Hourly Schedule

6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Tuesday Night Program


Nov 15 2018


06:00 PM - 08:00 PM


Tuition-free event

Visitor Planning

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Mt. Zion AME Church


Mt. Zion AME Church
5 Glebe Street, Charleston, SC 29401 United States

Presenting Faculty: