Being a blessing to someone is philanthropy. Born enslaved, Harriett Tubman gave freedom. Robbed of education, Catherine Ferguson started a school. After shattering ceilings, Madam C.J. Walker opened doors. With every blessing received, we pay it forward by investing in people and communities with our wealth, our work, and our wisdom.
— Valaida Fullwood
Founder/CEO: Cecil Williams
Before 12 years of age, Cecil Williams’ camera had captured the petitioners in Clarendon County as they lit the torch of freedom. At 14, he played Arthur Ashe at Bethune-Cookman College winning three games from the soon to be world tennis champion. In 10th grade, he photographed Thurgood Marshall coming to Charleston for the Briggs case, and again one year later, speaking at Claflin. In 1955, he became the youngest-ever JET Magazine photographer. In 1960, upon being thrown out of a New York press conference, he became JFK’s favorite lensman.
At 38 years old—40 years before solar electricity became popularized—he designed a solar-operated (photovoltaic) home featured in EBONY. One year later, he designed the Envirodome, an energy-light impulsive roof-top device considered for patent by Sears. To fulfill a childhood obsession to defeat Senator Strom Thurmond—twice he ran for United States Senate. In 2015, he designed the Filmtoaster, a device now used around the world to digitize film.
Now, after a 30 year obsession to create a museum for his civil rights era collection, he's doing it! ...because; something inside so strong!
Cecil Williams South Carolina Civil Rights Museum is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 operating with strict guidelines adhering to the mission of non-profits. Cecil Williams Photography, LLC, is a for-profit business transitioning into a perfect model to share the vast image collections captured by the founder and at same time striving to operate a viable enterprise. It was within this model, the founder was able to create the museum concept solely funded from his resources. Your understanding and support will be greatly appreciated.
Board of Directors
James Felder, Board Chairman
& Major Gifts Consultant
James L. Felder, is a native South Carolinian. Following the completion of his undergraduate studies at Clark College in Atlanta, GA, he spent two years in the United States Army serving with the Honor Guard Ceremonial Unit in the Nation's capital. After his tour of duty with the Army, he matriculated at Howard University School of Law completing his studies in June 1967, and returned to South Carolina. His selection to serve with the Honor Guard represented only the tenth black American to serve with this elite unit. The first nine preceded him by several months. Felder is a former member of the South Carolina House of Representatives (1970-72) and one of three blacks who served in the General Assembly since Reconstruction. Felder is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. He has been a member for 60 years and has served in various leadership roles. The author has written three books: (1) I Buried John F. Kennedy, (2) Civil Rights in South Carolina, (3) The Making of an AME Bishop and the latest book The Life and Times of Luns C. Richardson.
Katherine Briggs is the daughter of Harry and Elizra Briggs, namesake of the historic Briggs v. Elliot petitioners in Clarendon County, SC.
Mr. Nathaniel Briggs
Mr. Nathaniel Briggs currently lives in New Jersey but frequently returns to his native Clarendon County, South Carolina home where his parents, Harry Briggs Sr. launched the Briggs v. Elliott lawsuit.
Dr. Vernon Burton
Dr. Vernon Burton is a professor of history at Clemson University, the Director of its Clemson CyberInstitute, and an author. He formerly served as Director of the Institute for Computing in Humanities, Arts, and Social Science (CHASS) and professor of History and Sociology at th University of Illinois.He is also a Senior Research Scientist at theNational Center for Supercomputing Applications. where he is Associate Director for Humanities and Social Sciences. Burton has authored more than a hundred articles and wrote or edited fourteen books. His books include In My Father's House Are Many Mansions: Family and Community in Edgefield, South Carolina that was the subject of sessions at the Southern Historical Association and the Social Science History Association’s annual meetings. It was also submitted for a Pulitzer. He also wrote The Age of Lincoln, winner of the 2007Ch imago Tribune Heartland Prize.
Mr. J.A. DeLaine
Mr. J.A. Delaine is the son of Rev. J.A. Delaine, Sr, as a Methodist minister and civil rights leader from Clarendon County, South Carolina. DeLaine worked with Modjeska Simkins and the South Carolina NAACP on the case Briggs v. Elliott, which challenged segregation in Summerton, South Carolina. DeLaine decided to leave South Carolina, and never returned, after a warrant was issued for his arrest for returning gunfire when his parsonage later came under hostile gunfire. He fled first to New York City and then to Buffalo, New York, where he founded another Methodist church. As a result of efforts begun in 1955, DeLaine was pardoned in 2000 by the South Carolina State Parole Board. DeLaine also memorably taught school in South Carolina, and in 2006 was inducted into South Carolina's Educational Hall of Honor at the University of South Carolina. Rev. DeLaine and three other plaintiffs in the Briggs v. Elliott case were posthumously awarded Congressional gold medals in 2004 for their courage and persistence despite repeated acts of domestic violence against them.
Mr. Jerry Fryer
Mr. Jerry Fryer, a graduate of SC State University, is
Rev. Geoffery Henderson
Rev. Geoffery Henderson is a Native of Orangeburg, SC. and is in his 32nd year as a professional photographer/videographer. At a very young age he developed a flair for photography. After receiving a camera as a childhood Christmas gift, he found himself taking pictures of all his surroundings, to include pets, trees, buildings, friends, etc. After receiving his early education in the public school system of Orangeburg County, and attending South Carolina State University, Geoff began his professional career in 1987 after being gifted with his first professional photo kit by his cousin, Stanley D. Hampton, Sr. For the next 16 years he served as office manager and lead photographer for Mitchell’s Photography of Orangeburg. For the last 10 years he's been serving as corporate video-photo technician for Cecil Williams Photography, LLC. Geoff is also a licensed and ordained minister of the gospel with Christian Antioch Church of South Carolina. He is married to the former Ms. Elaine Brunson of Columbia, SC.
Dr. Darlene Hine
Darlene Clark Hine is a pioneering scholar in the field of African American women’s history. She has written three award-winning books on African American women’s history, and edited a two-volume encyclopedia, Black Women in America, the first major encyclopedia on the subject. Hine is considered to be a leading expert on the subject of race, class, and gender in American society. As the John A. Hannah Professor of History at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Hine helped to establish a new doctoral field in comparative African American history, one of the first of its kind. She has co-edited a 16-volume series on African American history in the United States, Milestones in African American History, as well as numerous anthologies. In her academic work, Hine seeks not only to explore African American history, but also to redefine the discipline of history itself. “To me, the historical profession is still too caught up with the wealthy and the influential in political, social, and cultural arenas, who actually number only a very small minority of the human population,” Hine told Roger Adelson of the Historian. “…Because so few of the new social historians have included black women, who remained at the very bottom of the ladder in the United States, we continue to lose much understanding and wisdom.”
Attorney Lou Moore
Attorney Lou Moore
Andre Rice is
Dr. Toni Williams Sanchez
Dr. Toni Adella Williams-Sanchez, Panamanian computer programmer, analyst, mathematics, science and computer educator. She is also a Certified data educator. In 1982, she was recipient National Federally Employed Women award. Background. In 1972, she received a Bachelor of Science, Claflin College, and in 1972. Master of Arts, Columbia University, 1976.
Dr. James Sulton
Dr. James Sulton, son of civil rights pioneer James Sulton, was born into a wonderful family focused on hard work, small business and meaningful education, Jim Sulton has always strived to fulfill the ideals of his forbears. South Carolina State University is a public higher education learning enterprise and Claflin is a nationally renowned private university. This distinctive academic environment afforded invaluable learning opportunities for Jim when he was growing up and role models for a lifetime. Sulton's hybrid undergraduate career began at Michigan State University and concluded with graduation from Howard University. He earned graduate degrees (M.A. and Ph.D.) from The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. He participated in the Center for Arabic Study Abroad program at the American University in Cairo and later became a fellow at the Institute for African and Asian Studies at the University of Khartoum. Jim's academic career began with faculty service at Howard University. He held senior level executive posts at the University of Wisconsin System, the Colorado Commission on Higher Education, the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education and the Washington Higher Education Coordinating Board. He served as Executive Vice President at Brookdale Community College in New Jersey. His experience as an activist included work as a legislative liaison for TransAfrica. Jim now leads The Sulton Center where he combines scholarship, activism and lifelong involvement in the movement for civil rights.
Mr. Bernie Wright
Mr. Bernie Wright is
Mrs. Barbara Johnson Williams
Mrs. Barbara Johnson Williams, received her B.S. in elementary education, M.Ed in special education and Ed.S in Educational Administration from South Carolina State University. She worked for South Carolina State as an adjunct professor and for Orangeburg Consolidated School District Five as a teacher; department chair, and program specialist before her retirement in 2011. Ms. Johnson-Williams also served as the Special Education Program Specialist and Department Chairperson for Special Education at Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School. She was a member of the Council for Exceptional Children Local Chapter and president of the South Carolina Council for Exceptional Children. Her professional, personal and civic affiliations include president of the Northwood Estates Neighborhood Association, Advisory Board for Low County Healthy Start, the Nurturing Committee for Edisto Habitat for Humanity, Orangeburg Community Task Force, Orangeburg Branch of the NAACP, member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., The Orangeburg Links Inc., Phi Delta Kappa Fraternity, SCSU Alumni, Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development, the Edisto Fork Community Development Center Inc., the National Education Association, the American Business Women’s Association and the South Carolina Association for Black Educators. Ms. Johnson-Williams is a member of Mount Pisgah Baptist Church, where she serves as president of the Usher Ministry, correspondent secretary of the Senior Missionary Ministry and member of the Stewardship Ministry and Women’s Guild. She and her husband, Cecil, live in Orangeburg.
Ms. Brenda L. Williams
Ms. Brenda L. Williams was former vice president of Strategy and Compliance at the Regional Medical Center (RMC) of Orangeburg and Calhoun counties. In this position, she was responsible for engineering, marketing, grant writing, switchboard, volunteers telecommunications, laboratory, Joint Commission review, planning, risk management, insurance, environment of care, environmental services, cardiology, cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation, Vein Clinic, Vascular Center, Breast Health Center, the Dialysis Access Institute, and the Mabry Center for Cancer Care. Brenda received the 2017 Distinguished Alumna Award from South Carolina State University for her work as an innovator and community servant. She was named the 2016 Rotarian of the Year for her service by the Orangeburg Morning Rotary Club. Brenda was also the recipient of the 2015 Palmetto Medical, Dental and Pharmaceutical Association Spencer D. Disher, MD Award for her contributions to community healthcare. Ms. Williams currently holds the following positions: chairperson, Board for the Orangeburg-Calhoun-Allendale-Bamberg (OCAB) Community Action Agency; vice president, the Regional Economic and Educational Community Development Corporation; and member of the Orangeburg School District 5 Foundation Board. Ms. Williams is a life member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated and a member and lector at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Orangeburg.
Nancy Wilson-Young is a native of Orangeburg, South Carolina where during the 1960s, she participated in the civil rights movement. Now retired, Young is the former distinguished Professor of Reading at Miami-Dade. A graduate of Claflin University, she has traveled almost every Continent world-wide. Formerly she served on the Board of Trustees at Claflin University. She is a life member of the NAACP and the Claflin University International Alumni Association.