Lowcountry Citizens' Summit

A venue for conversations regarding the construction and sustaining of a productive, equitable Lowcountry community.

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Due to COVID-19, the 2020 Lowcountry Citizens' Summit has been postponed until further notice. Please stay tuned for updates. 

The goal of the Lowcountry Citizens' Summit is to bridge the gap between the College of Charleston campus and the broader Charleston community by engaging students and local community members in timely, meaningful conversations regarding the building and maintaining of a productive, equitable Lowcountry community.

The Lowcountry Citizens' Summit is hosted by the Honors College and presented by the School of the Arts. This event is also made possible with support from the following campus organizations:

Tentative Schedule:

4:30pm: Doors open

4:30-5:00pm: Poster Session

Student poster session for projects in the fields of leadership, community engagement, and/or social justice.

5:00-6:15pm: Panel Discussion

History in the Making: Deciding Today on the Charleston of Tomorrow: A representative, interdisciplinary panel of Lowcountry citizen leaders will discuss ongoing initiatives that promise to shape the identity of Charleston for years to come. Panelists include:

  • Kate Buckholz, Senior Manager at Blackbaud
  • Catherine Dority, Director of Marketing for Explore Charleston (Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau) 
  • Asia Pitts, CofC Honors senior and community organizer 
  • Benny Starr, hip-hop artist and activist
  • Chloe Stuber, Planner at City of Charleston

Note: Full panelist bios are available below

6:15-6:30pm: Refreshments, Poster Session Continued

6:30-7:15pm: Breakout Session

Discussion topics will be determined prior to the summit by students in the Scholar-Citizen Initiative and will relate to the panel discussion. Attendees will be introduced to the action-oriented discussion topics at the beginning of the breakout session and will then separate into groups based on their interests and expertise. 

This event is FREE to the general public. However, please register here in advance. 

Panelist Biographies
Kate Buckholz, Senior Manager at Blackbaud

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Kate Buckholz is currently a Senior Manager at Blackbaud and her career has spanned the non-profit, higher education and technology sectors. She is passionate about public education and social justice, and the intersection of the two.  Kate was honored by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation as one of Charleston’s Finest in 2017, the Regional Business Journal as one of Charleston’s Forty Under 40 in 2018, and became a Riley Fellow in 2019 through the Diversity Leaders Institute at Furman University. She is the Lowcountry Board Chair for Multiplying Good (formerly the Jefferson Awards Foundation). Kate holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Seattle University and a Master’s degree in International Education from New York University. She lives in the Park Circle area of North Charleston with her family.
Catherine Dority, Director of Marketing for Explore Charleston

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Catherine Dority is the Director of Marketing for Explore Charleston, also known as the Charleston Area CVB. She is responsible for the coordination and administering of the advertising and marketing plan in cooperation with input from the marketing committee chairman and liaisons. Her team sets and plans the creative and advertising placements in all markets as well as produces annual publications that include the Charleston Area Visitors Guide, Destination Planning Guide, the Official Charleston Area Wedding Guide, and the Bureau Book. The marketing department also oversees updates and changes to multiple websites, including ExploreCharleston.com, to ensure accurate and up-to-date events, blog posts and member information. Additionally, the team works diligently to continue to grow on-line traffic through various media and social channels. 

Asia Pitts, CofC Honors student and community organizer

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Asia Pitts was born and raised in Spartanburg, SC, and she is a current senior within the College of Charleston Honors College, double majoring in Public Health and International Studies. Asia demonstrates a commitment not only to justice but to taking action to bring justice to her communities through her involvement as Vice Moderator for Journey, an on-campus ministry, and as CofC’s co-team leader for the Charleston Area Justice Ministry (CAJM). She also works as an intern at The Lonon Foundation, a local, non-profit, and has continued to serve at the Middle Tyger Community Center during her school breaks back home. In her role as Honors Admissions Student Intern, she manages the Honors Student Ambassadors and helps the office facilitate equity-centered admissions practices.

Benny Starr, Artist, Intellectual, and Activist

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Benny Starr continues to defy boundaries assigned to today's hip-hop artists. A native son of the South Carolina Lowcountry, he has transcended conventional descriptors to carve out his niche as an industry disruptor and skillful MC. The buzz around Starr’s talent has been growing for years through his singles, EPs, mixtapes, and freestyle performances, leading to the release of his first LP in 2015 entitled Free Lunch. Charleston City Paper’s Kyle Peterson described the record as “a soul and R&B sample-infused effort that showcased the emcee’s formidable technical skills and keen political and social consciousness.”. In 2016, he released a live band EP with Very Hypnotic Soul Band, a group of socially conscious artists who collaborate on high concept genre-bending projects. His most recent solo project, A Water Album, recorded live with his fellow bandmates The Four20s, at Charleston Music Hall, was released on Juneteenth 2019. Following the release of A Water Album, Benny Starr received critical acclaim from some of the South East's preeminent publications. From his feature in The Oxford American’s yearly southern music issue to having his history-making Spoleto Festival USA performance covered by the Pulitzer Prize-winning Post and Courier, Benny Starr made the news each time he took to the microphone. Native Son, a duo comprised of Benny Starr and producer/pianist Rodrick Cliché, has announced plans for a 2020 album release that will continue to highlight Starr as a deft collaborator and undeniably powerful artistic force.

Chloe Stuber, Planner at City of Charleston

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Chloe Stuber, a native of Savannah, GA, is a planning nerd, organizer-at-heart, popular educator and facilitator. Her life and work has centered in promoting and sustaining initiatives that support power building and leadership by oppressed communities and individuals. She has organized across multiple sectors -- grassroots, nonprofit, philanthropy and local government --and in a variety of spaces including immigrant rights, LGBTQ rights, language justice, affordable housing, racial justice and environmental justice. During the day, Chloe is a Planner with the City of Charleston – running the behind-the-scenes for the 2020 update to the City’s Comprehensive Plan; and shaping policies, programs and processes to tackle the City’s affordable housing challenges. Outside of work hours, Chloe is a board member of Charleston Community Research to Action Board (CCRAB), a community-led environmental justice research organization raising awareness about sources and impacts of environmental injustices in our community through citizen science and university partnerships; and consults with PODER Emma, a resident-led community planning initiative in Western North Carolina organizing against the forces of displacement and gentrification. Chloe received a Master of Public Administration and Graduate Certificate in Urban and Regional Planning from the College of Charleston in May 2019, and Bachelor of Social Work from Warren Wilson College in 2011.

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, people who need alternative formats, ASL (American Sign Language) Interpretation or other accommodation please contact Robert Maynor at (843) 953-0673 or maynorra@cofc.edu three business days prior to the event.