AVAILABLE SITES - Live In-Person Seminar ONLY
Greenville Technical College, Buck Mickel Ctr., 216 South Pleasantburg Dr., Rm. 135, Greenville
Summerville SC Mediation and Conf. Facility,1516 Old Trolley Road Summerville SC 29485

Registration Fees: 
Early Bird: $295 (before 2/10)
Regular: $345

This program qualifies for 7.50 MCLE credit hours.


Against the Wind—A Legal History of Civil Rights in South Carolina through Cases and Testimony over the Last Century is a special program that will allow you to walk in the footsteps of some of South Carolina’s greatest lawyers who championed the struggle against injustice and viewed the courtroom as an arena for social justice and cultural change. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to hear these powerful and inspiring stories, learn about the motivations, courage, theories and strategies that formed some of South Carolina’s most treasured legal history moments. 

This Historic program is co-moderated by Representative Bakari T. Sellers, son of Cleveland L. Sellers, CNN analyst and the youngest African American elected official in the United States. 

Course Planners: Nekki Shutt and Hon. Joseph M. Strickland
Moderators: Rep. Bakari T. Sellers and Nekki Shutt


8:20 a.m.
Welcome and Opening Remarks

8:30 a.m.
Introduction and Overview: Legal History of Civil Rights in South Carolina

Hon. Joseph M. Strickland, Richland County Master in Equity
Nekki Shutt, Callison Tighe & Robinson, LLC
Rep. Bakari T. Sellers, Strom Law Firm, LLC

8:40 a.m.
Political History Quiz “The Transformation of South Carolina Politics”

Hon. Joseph M. Strickland, S.C. Master in Equity

9 a.m.
1910-1964: Overview of the NAACP Legal Strategy in South Carolina for Challenging Segregation and Jim Crow

Patricia Sullivan, Ph.D., University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
(Author of Lift Every Voice: The NAACP and the Making of the Civil Rights Movement)

9:30 a.m.
1910-1947: Panel Discussion on Early Civil Rights Cases

Prof. W. Lewis Burke, University of South Carolina School of Law
Hon. Jasper M. Cureton, S.C. Court of Appeals, retired
James L. Felder 

• NAACP’s First Cases: Pink Franklin v. South Carolina: The NAACP’s first case concerning the 1907 shooting of Constable Henry Valentine by sharecropper Pink Franklin over a warrant of arrest stemming fromalleged violation of a labor contract.

• Legacy Of South Carolina State University School Of Law: In 1946, a black World War II veteran appliedfor admission to the USC School of Law and was denied admission because of his race. He filed suit and was represented by four attorneys, including Thurgood Marshall. The suit culminated in a 1946 ruling by Judge J. Waites Waring that resulted in the General Assembly’s establishment of a law school at South Carolina State. The school’s many illustrious graduates include our speaker, as well as Matthew J. Perry, who would go on to become the firstblack lawyer from the Deep South to be appointed to the federal judiciary and Ernest A. Finney Jr., former chief justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court.

• Voting Rights: Elmore v Rice: A black cab driver named George Elmore sued the South Carolina Democratic Partyfor refusing to let him and other blacks vote in the 1946 Richland County primary. Judge J. Waites Waring enjoinedthe Party from excluding qualified voters from enrollment and casting ballots “by reason of their not being person ofthe white race.”

10:30 a.m. BREAK

10:45 a.m.
1952–1955: School Desegregation

Hon. Richard M. Gergel, U.S. District Court 

Briggs v. Elliot: Desegregation in South Carolina began in earnest in Clarendon County. African American sargued that their school—Summerton Colored School—was poorly equipped and dangerous in comparison to Summerton Graded School, the school for white students. Not even the school district denied the inequality, but claimed it would take time to upgrade the black schools to similar standards as the other schools. After being enjoined and argued before the SCOTUS in Brown v. Board of Education, the Court ordered the desegregation of South Carolina schools.

11:30 a.m.
1955: Before Rosa Parks

Hon. Cameron McGowan Currie, U.S. District Court

Flemming v. South Carolina Electric and Gas Company: Seventeen months before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat, a 22-year-old Columbia maid named Sarah Mae Flemming boarded a bus for work and sat in the only empty seat, which was reserved for white passengers. The bus driver publicly berated her. When Ms. Flemming triedto exit the bus through the front door at the next stop, the bus driver punched her in the stomach and reminded herto use the back exit designated for blacks.

12 p.m.
LUNCH (Provided by SC Bar with Keynote Speaker)
Harvey B. Gantt (Interviewed by his niece Toyya Brawley Gray and dormmate Joel Collins) 

1961–1963: Clemson’s Integration
Gantt v. Clemson Agricultural College of South Carolina:
In January 1961, Charleston-native Harvey B. Gantt applied to the only architectural program offered in South Carolina, at Clemson University. After reapplying three times, Gantt challenged the unfair application process in court exposing that Clemson, post-Brown v. Board of Education, had not altered any pre-existing policy to exclude African Americans from admission.

1:15 p.m.
1968: The Student Movement

Cleveland L. SellersThe Orangeburg Massacre as told by a survivor

1:45 p.m.
Sex Discrimination in the Workplace

Victoria L. Eslinger, Nexsen Pruet, LLC

Eslinger v. Thomas: When Vickie Eslinger was a law student at USC, she applied for a senate page position The clerk of South Carolina’s Senate quickly informed Ms. Eslinger that she would not be given a page position, as only males were hired to page positions. Ms. Eslinger challenged the refusal to hire in court.

2:15 p.m.
1890–Present: Women in Law

Hon. Chief Justice Jean Hoefer Toal, retired, S.C. Supreme Court 

The first women entered the USC School of Law in 1890, but eventually dropped out, probably because women were not permitted to practice law. In 1918, SC Gov. Richard I. Manning signed a bill permitting women to practice law. Women were not allowed to serve on juries in SC until 1969. In 1988, Jean Hoefer Toal was the first woman elected to the South Carolina Supreme Court. 

3 p.m. BREAK

3:15 p.m. 1993-1995: Challenging Single-Sex Education
M.Malissa Burnette, Callison Tighe & Robinson, LLC

Faulkner v. Jones: Powdersville-native, Shannon Faulkner was the first female cadet to enter the Citadel in 1995. She enrolled after a successful two-year lawsuit against the Citadel for sex discrimination.

3:45 p.m.
2014 : Achieving Marriage Equality

Colleen T. Condon, Condon Law Firm, LLC

Condon v. Haley: On October 8, 2014, Colleen Condon and Nichols Bleckley were the first same-sex couple toapply for and have their marriage license accepted in South Carolina. Before the probate judge could issue the marriage license after the requisite 24-hour “cooling off period,” the SC Attorney General sought an injunction from the Supreme Court of South Carolina. The next day, the SC Supreme Court ordered the state’s 46 probate judges to cease issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples until a federal court ruled. Condon and Bleckley sued in federal court. Judge Gergel’s order in the case struck down the state’s “marriage amendment” banning the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses.

4:15 p.m.
2016: Transgender Bathroom Access and Employment Rights

Nekki Shutt, Callison Tighe & Robinson, LLC

The civil rights issue of the moment, which was spurred by the passage of HB2 in North Carolina and the introduction of S1203 and S1306 in South Carolina.

4:45 p.m.
Closing and Call to Action

Bobby J. Donaldson, Ph.D., University of South Carolina 

In South Carolina, courageous attorneys, judges, student activists, and civil rights organizations have transformed our community. With respect for the past and hope for a brighter future ... our story matters.

5 p.m.

If you have a disability, please call ahead to let us know how we may accommodate your needs.
All registrations must be pre-paid. Cancellation & Refund Policy:
Refunds, less $25 administrative fee, will be made for cancellations received in writing to the CLE Registrar at registrar@scbar.org by 5 p.m., one week prior to the seminar. Cancellations will not be accepted within one week of seminar date. One-time transfers to seminars of like value or to the live web cast of the seminar (if available) will be accepted for a $25 administrative fee in lieu of cancellations within one week of seminar. Requests to transfer to the live web cast must be received by 1p.m. the day prior to the program. Designated substitutes may take the place of registrants unable to attend.


  • Columbia
    In-Person Seminar
    SC Bar Conference Center
    1501 Park Street , Columbia, SC 29201
  • Greenville
    In-Person Seminar
    Greenville Technical College
    216 S. Pleasantburg Dr. , Greenville, SC 29607
  • Summerville
    In-Person Seminar
    1516 Old Trolley Rd. , Summerville, SC 29485