July 12, 2016

Family Members of Charleston Shooting Victims, Members of Congress Gather at U.S. Capitol to Reflect on South Carolina Civil Rights Pilgrimage, Remember Emanuel Nine and Survivors

July 13 Event Features Panel Discussion & Documentary of South Carolina Civil Rights Pilgrimage

WASHINGTON – On July 13th, the Faith and Politics Institute will hold an event at the U.S. Capitol that brings together bipartisan, bicameral members of Congress, survivors and family members of victims of the tragic shooting at Mother Emanuel AME church in Charleston, South Carolina one year ago that claimed the lives of nine people practicing their faith. 

Following a bipartisan congressional civil rights pilgrimage to South Carolina in March, the event will premiere the documentary of the pilgrimage and feature a panel discussion that reflects on the lessons of that experience, honors the Charleston shooting victims and explores the next steps to move the country toward racial reconciliation.

U.S. House of Representatives Assistant Democratic Leader James E. Clyburn (D-SC), U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) and FPI President Joan Mooney will co-host the event and lead the panel discussion with Melvin Graham, Nadine Collier and Alana Simmons, victims’ family members who participated in the pilgrimage. Attending the event, along with members of Congress and civil rights luminaries, will be Mrs. Polly Sheppard and Mrs. Felicia Sanders, two survivors of the Emanuel AME massacre. Civil rights icon Congressman John Lewis will also attend along with dozens of members of Congress. 

From March 18th-20th, the Faith and Politics Institute led a bipartisan congressional delegation, students and seminarians on a pilgrimage that visited historic civil rights sites in Columbia, Orangeburg and Charleston culminating in a Palm Sunday worship service at Mother Emanuel AME Church.

To view a trailer for the pilgrimage documentary, visit The Faith & Politics Institute YouTube page.

Wednesday July 13, 2016

 What: Post South Carolina Civil Rights Pilgrimage & One Year After Charleston Massacre – U.S. Capitol Event to Remember Emanuel Nine, Advance the National Dialogue on Race

Who: U.S. House of Representatives Assistant Democratic Leader James E. Clyburn (D-SC), U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) and FPI President Joan Mooney co-host and lead a panel discussion on the Pilgrimage to South Carolina and screen a short documentary.

 Special Guests: Mrs. Polly Sheppard and Mrs. Felicia Sanders, two survivors of the Charleston Massacre, and family members of the victims who participated in the March Pilgrimage.

 When: 6:00pm – Short Documentary, Panel Discussion (Media must arrive no later than 5:45pm)

 Where: U.S. Capitol Visitor Center – Congressional Auditorium

 The invite-only event is open to media. Please RSVP to For more information, visit The Faith and Politics Institute at or Twitter and Facebook

 Due to the brevity of the program, no questions from audience will be entertained. Members of Congress and victims' family members can be asked questions after the event by media.