Contemplative Alliance Program - Charleston, June 2017

June 9, 2017

On June 9 and 10, 2017, the Contemplative Alliance/GPIW reconvened in Charleston, South Carolina for a community dialogue called Restoring Wholeness: Within Ourselves, with Each Other and the Vast Community of Life.  The mission of the gathering was to hold in remembrance the victims of the racially motivated shooting at the AME Mother Emanuel Church in June 2015, re-engage local partners as well as the Charleston chapter of the Contemplative Alliance.  

We went to gather local citizens in an ongoing contemplative platform to address the racial divide in America and the current impact of climate change on coastal cities like Charleston.  The program opening was addressed by renowned civil rights advocate Rev. Nelson Richards, leading organizer of the largest civil rights demonstration (50,000 people) in the history of South Carolina.  Our partner for the Restoring Wholeness program was the Sophia Institute, under the leadership of Carolyn Rivers.  Carolyn is Co-Convening the newly created Charleston based Social Justice, Racial Equity Collaborative, which was formed in response to the June 2015 AME Mother Emanuel massacre.

The diverse group of 33 participants included experts in the social justice and ecology fields, artists, practitioners of the Buddhist, Baha'i, Christian, Indigenous, Muslim, and Yogic spiritual traditions, as well as thought leaders in progressive community development.  The group was also joined by six leading emerging community change agents from Baltimore, Brooklyn, Philadelphia and the Cherokee and Wopanâak Native American Nations.

For the full program report & photos, click here.

To share outcomes via social media, click here.

To watch the film, click here.


In 2014, the Contemplative Alliance held its first community gathering in South Carolina in partnership with the Sophia Institute of Charleston.  The objective was to identify local leaders interested in implementing contemplative approaches to addressing critical social issues and pressing ecological concerns at the state and local levels. To learn more, please view the film.