The C3 program teaches high school freshmen South Carolina civil rights history and visits important places including the Mother Emanuel AME Church on Calhoun Street downtown | CP file photo

Applications for the first-ever Charleston Civil Rights and Civics (C3) program opened this week for Lowcountry high school freshmen.

C3 is a week-long free educational program designed to teach the history of slavery and civil rights in South Carolina. Students will visit historically significant locations, including the International African American Museum (IAAM), locations in the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor, sites from the Orangeburg massacre, multiple Charleston monuments and more.


“We launched this program to help teach the Lowcountry’s civil rights legacy and build bridges between high school students of diverse backgrounds,” said C3 Founder and Executive Director Leslie Skardon. “We’re fortunate to have an incredible advisory committee and curriculum partners who have helped us create a comprehensive and inclusive program that will bring students together and shape our future leaders.”

The program concludes with lessons on the electoral processes, the value of civic participation and the role of government. As part of this lesson, students will also visit the Charleston County Board of Elections and Voter Registration.

Skardon said the program was adopted to promote civil rights education and the Lowcountry’s history for area students.

C3 is in partnership with local after-school program Kids on Point (KOP) and has an advisory committee that includes organizations that will participate and share lessons about South Carolina’s past.

The Rev. Demett Jenkins, a member of the advisory committee and IAAM’s Lilly director of education and engagement for faith-based communities, said she is hopeful local students will take part in this educational and immersive experience.

“This type of programming is so important to understanding our history,” she said. “We hope all students have an opportunity to engage with C3.”

The coming program will operate from July 31 through Aug. 4. It is free and offers participating students complimentary lunch and transportation. Applications are open to all students currently in their first year of high school. Applications close March 7.  

Stay cool. Support City Paper.

City Paper has been bringing the best news, food, arts, music and event coverage to the Holy City since 1997. Support our continued efforts to highlight the best of Charleston with a one-time donation or become a member of the City Paper Club.