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803.733.5634
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The Renaissance Foundation presents

The Honorable Judge Ernest A. Finney, Jr. “Naming Rights” Reception

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The Honorable Judge Ernest A. Finney, Jr.

Columbia, SC – July 26, 2012 - The Renaissance Cultural Arts Center Museumwill become the “Ernest A. Finney, Jr. Civil Rights Museum,” when in his honor on July 26, 2012 the naming rights will take place at Historic Columbia Foundation (Seibels House), 1601 Richland Street, 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm. This historic event will recognize one of South Carolina’s greatest pioneers. Born March 23, 1931, Judge Finney was elected to the South Carolina House of Representative in 1972. He was the first African American to serve on the House Judiciary Committee in recent history, and an original founder of the Legislative Black Caucus, serving as its charter Chairman from 1973 to 1975.

Elected to a judgeship in South Carolina’s Third Circuit Court on July 22, 1976 he later became the state’s first African American Circuit Court Judge. In 1985 Judge Finney was elected to the state of South Carolina’s Supreme Court. Additionally, on May 11, 1994 he became the first African American Chief Justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court since the Reconstruction era, a position he held with distinction until his retirement from the bench on March 23, 2000. The Civil Rights Museum will house historical artifacts and documents related to the contributions made by the African-American Ecumenical Faith Community, and will also feature the United Black Fund of South Carolina “Hall of Fame” Inductees. In conjunction with the Civil Rights Museum, the Renaissance Foundation will kick off “The 1921 Campaign.” which recognizes the date the building was completed.

Historic Bethel was built in 1921 by one of the first African-American Architect John Anderson Lanksford who has the distinction of being the first African American with an established architectural office. Lanksford was also an attorney, professor, author, blacksmith and a real estate broker. “Our vision is to restore and transform Historic Bethel into a performing arts venue, museum and art gallery.” All contributions starting at $19.21 will help to save a South Carolina treasure.

The names of each donor will be listed in the museum’s records at this National Heritage Tourist Site. Our goal is to reach a minimum of 100,000 contributors. Once completed, the Cultural Arts Center will have a tremendous economic impact throughout the Midlands and the State of South Carolina. You can make your donations to “The 1921 Campaign” by mailing your contribution to the Renaissance Foundation, 1247 Sumter St., Suite 303, Columbia, SC 29201. You may also donate online by clicking our donate button below.

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