Mother Emanuel Empowerment Center to be dedicated on Friday

Mother Emanuel Empowerment Center

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) — The Mother Emanuel Empowerment Center is being dedicated with a special ceremony on Friday, November 4.

The Mother Emanuel Empowerment Center (MEEC) is located at 106 Calhoun Street, next to Emanuel A.M.E. Church.

The dedication program, which begins at 1:00 p.m., will be led by Bishop Samuel L. Green Sr., the new bishop of the 7th Episcopal District, which spans all AME churches in South Carolina.

The Office of Victims of Crime is a federal agency. It granted $3.6 million to nine community entities for past, current and future supportive services to be available for the congregation of Emanuel AME Church, family members of the victims, and the survivors of the June 17, 2015 massacre.

Rev. Eric S. C. Manning, pastor of Emanuel AME Church (EAMEC), invites the public to attend the dedication. Representatives from the entities working together to continue healing the community since the tragedy will also attend Friday’s dedication.

Community partners include:

  • The National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center (NCVC) in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC),
  • Berkeley Mental Health Center (BMHC)
  • Charleston County Sheriff’s Office
  • City of Charleston Police Department
  • Charleston Dorchester Mental Health Center (CDMHC)
  • Charleston Coroner’s Office
  • Charleston County Clerk of Courts
  • Ninth Judicial Circuit Solicitor’s Office
  • Emanuel AME Church

The congregation of EAMEC is considered a named victim for purposes of this grant. The racially motivated attack directed at Emanuel magnifies its impact on the congregation. Family members of the Mother Emanuel 9, surviving witnesses and church members received worldwide attention for their grace and resilience.

“Many individuals may need help, information, and assistance for an extended period of time – which will be available to them at the Mother Emanuel Empowerment Center,” Rev. Manning stated.

The NCVC at MUSC will serve as the lead agency for the OVC service grant. NCVC will be accountable for the distribution of funds to the nine partner organizations for needed services, coordination of services, and reimbursement to agencies for services already rendered in the aftermath of the tragedy.

Dr. Brenda Nelson, Project Director of the MEEC stated, “The MEEC will provide resources that will impact us now and help us through these tough- times. Our outreach therapists, victim advocates and administrative staff are here to serve those who have suffered the devastating effects this tragedy. She concluded, “We exist to provide hope, healing and recovery!”

Supportive services to be funded in whole or part by the grant:

  • Limited victim-related law enforcement services (e.g. death notifications, security and victim escort at memorial services and funerals, crime scene cleanup, victim protection during court proceedings)
  • Victim-witness notification and support services (e.g. notification of hearings and proceedings; accompaniment of victims at these hearings and proceedings; assistance with travel arrangements to attend hearings and proceedings; facilitating consultation with prosecutors)
  • Services addressing crime-related mental health needs of direct and indirect victims (e.g. evidence-based individual mental health counseling; support group counseling;community memorials and events, and self-help psychoeducational materials that are designed to provide brief information about common crime-related mental health problems, self-screening for those problems, and evidence-based self-help suggestions about how to address problems constructively)
  • Resiliency center services designed to meet the crime-related needs of the congregation
  • Direct victim assistance services provided by the Charleston County Coroner’s Office and
  • Services designed to assist victims in preparing for and attending trial proceedings

Information about supportive services, special events and details about the grant will be posted on the EAMEC website.

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