Atrocity to Apology: Beginning The Path for Change

Melissa Maddox-Evans

Moving forward as a community means owning and apologizing about aspects of the past that have paved the way to the race relations we experience today, says activist, Melissa Maddox-Evans. Taking a look at the City of Charleston’s role in the transatlantic slave trade specifically, Melissa argues that progress isn’t truly possible until at a minimum, apologies are issued collectively. From there—and rooted in empathy—our community can grow towards a more united tomorrow.

A speaker, lawyer, community leader and affordable housing champion, Melissa Maddox-Evans led the citizen’s effort through the Social Justice Racial Equity Collaborative, for the City of Charleston to pass a resolution that denounced and apologize for its involvement in the institution of slavery, enactment and perpetuation of Jim Crow laws, and secured the City’s commitment to address discriminatory practices going forward.  She has received recognition for her advocacy and work to bring equality and safety to those in the Charleston community. A staunch believer in never giving up, Melissa’s motto is “dreams can be achieved, and failures need not be final.”