[image-1] Leaders from Charleston’s minority community will gather to talk through the city’s recently-approved hate crime law on Wed. Feb. 20 at the Charleston Museum.

Beginning at 6 p.m., Mayor John Tecklenburg will introduce the city’s “hate intimidation” ordinance, which passed City Council unanimously in November.
[content-1] The law punishes intimidation based on “perceived race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical or mental disability, or national origin” with a $500 fine, 30 days in jail, or both — the maximum penalties the city can impose.

Police Chief Luther Reynolds will speak about the importance of law enforcement in combatting hate crimes, according to a press release issued by the police department. Other speakers include Allison Padilla-Goodman of the Anti-Defamation League, Charleston resident and Holocaust survivor Joe Engel, and Mother Emanuel shooting survivor Jennifer Benjamin Pinckney.
[content-2] Panelists for the Q&A portion include Central Mosque of Charleston President Shahid Husain, Rabbi Moshe Davis of Brith Sholom Beth Israel synagogue, and LGBTQ activist Vanity Reid-Deterville.

“I’m just interested to see what comes out of it,” said Melissa Moore, the former head of We Are Family, a local nonprofit focusing on LGBTQ youth. “I’ve noticed there are gonna be a lot of good people who are gonna be on the panel.”

The Alliance For Full Acceptance, a local LGBTQ advocacy group, and the NAACP will host a reception at JohnKing Bar and Grill, 428 King St., after the forum.

You can register for the forum online now.