Wednesday, May 5, 2021—Charleston, South Carolina—The Lowcountry Action Committee is partnering with the Eastside Community Development Corporation (ECDC), the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture, and the Center for Heirs’ Property Preservation to shed light on the history of the Eastside community and the current issues faced by residents in a virtual series called #HandsOffEastside.
Charleston's Eastside community—originally Hampstead Village—has a rich, important history and legacy of being the locale of early Black residences, churches, businesses, and a place of activism (e.g. Cigar Factory Strike and NAACP Charleston Branch offices) in the City of Charleston. Today it has become the target of greedy developers and neglect by City officials who cater more to residents gentrifying the area than families and individuals who have lived there for generations.
In honor of the Eastside’s historic Black community, a new program will be featured every Thursday in May at 6 PM. Those interested can register here to participate virtually and limited space will be available at ECDC for Eastside residents to participate in person. Programs will also be live-streamed via the Avery Research Center’s Facebook and YouTube channels.
The series kicks off on Thursday, May 6th with “A Conversation with Latonya Gamble.” Gamble is a lifelong Eastside resident and current president of ECDC. The discussion will be moderated by Daron Lee Calhoun, II of the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture. Viewers will get to know Gamble, the history of the ECDC, its current role in the community, and what issues the Eastside Community is currently facing.
On Thursday, May 13th Josh Walden, Staff Attorney and COO for the Center for Heirs Property Preservation will host an “Heirs’ Property, Wills and Estate Planning” seminar in which participants will learn about the rights and risks of heirs’ property.
In addition to the Thursday program line up, on Saturday, May 15th the Lowcountry Action Committee will host their monthly Food For Thought food drive. Freedom Bags with staple pantry items, fresh organic produce, toiletries, PPE, and educational materials will be given to Eastside residents for free via contactless delivery. Food For Thought is hosted every third Saturday of the month. Those in need can sign up for a Freedom Bag here or text their name, address, and family size to (843) 608-8306.
On Thursday, May 20th Esther Adams, Manager of Strategic Initiatives at the Center for Heirs Property Preservation will host a “Land Use and Gentrification” seminar and provide participants with an overview of planning, zoning, and gentrification. The seminar will also cover basic information about the Board of Zoning Appeals, Planning Commission, permitting, and the effect of and some solutions to gentrification.
Finally, on Thursday, May 27th, Aaisha Haykal of the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture will host a “Community Archiving” workshop. Community archives have been developed by communities that have been marginalized and/or under-documented (e.g. LGBTQIA+, ethnic/racial groups, and women) in mainstream or traditional archives. They provide a space for communities like the Eastside to collect, preserve, and provide access to these histories. This workshop will provide strategies and tips for developing a community archive and discuss some that have already been created.
About the Lowcountry Action Committee
The Lowcountry Action Committee was founded in 2020 and is a Black-led grassroots organization dedicated to Black liberation through service, political education, and collective action in the Lowcountry. Learn more at www.lctakesaction.com
Co-Founder, Lowcountry Action Committee