The CSL 2024 Spiritual Living Convention will be held in Charleston, SC, February 19 – 22. There had been initial concern about holding the conference in South Carolina because of the state’s restrictive voting laws affecting African Americans and laws impacting treatment of transgender individuals.
Last November a case was heard by the US Supreme Court regarding gerrymandering of South Carolina districts. The decision has not yet been reported. Justices will decide whether the legislature subordinated traditional race neutral districting principles when it moved most of the Black population from a Charleston County district.
South Carolina does not have a statewide law that expressly prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, leaving LGBT people vulnerable to harassment and discrimination in the state. Several localities, universities, and private corporations in the state have adopted local ordinances and internal policies that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Despite these policies, many LGBT South Carolina residents are not protected from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity absent a statewide non-discrimination law that includes these characteristics.
Posted under the Spiritually Motivated Social Engagement (SMSE) Council on the CSL website is a portion of a response to the Supreme Court’s ruling overturning Roe v. Wade: Centers for Spiritual Living’s North Star is our Global Vision, our organizational shared values, and our Science of Mind statement of belief, all of which speak directly to liberty, equality, equity, inclusion, human rights, compassion, safety, self-determination, and spiritual living. For that reason, we are unambiguously in support of the lives of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color; unambiguously in support of gender equity and equality; unambiguously in support of LGBTQ+ lives, and unambiguously in support of women being sole decision-makers about their lives, wellbeing, dignity, and choices.
A task force, including the CSL Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council (DEI) was formed to study the matter and determined that CSL would indeed hold the conference in Charleston and show up as a ‘force of inclusive love.’ They connected with the City of Charleston and received cooperation in planning an inclusive conference. The Convention’s motto is ‘Soul to Soul to Soul – Lighting the Way of Love.’
A new International African American Museum opened in 2023 in Charleston. Representatives from the museum are participating in opening Convention events. A bus will transport CSL attendees to the museum. (iaamuseum.org) CSL will emphasize that February is Black History Month. A Gullah Geechee choir from the Outer Banks will perform. A diverse group of musicians will be performing at events throughout the conference.
CSL will be supporting Trans and LGBTQ individuals. The committee partnered with the Pride Center, who will have a booth at CSL’s event. After CSL’s gathering, the Pride Center will host a Prom for transgender individuals. Pride is hoping that CSL participants will stop by their booth and leave affirmations of support for those attending the Prom.
I anticipate a lot of stories of participants’ experiences during their time in Charleston. Centers for Spiritual Living is contributing to Social Activism on a global basis. They stress that efforts are not political and do not endorse any candidates. The basis is that consciousness should lead to action; prayer should lead to movement; CSL principles should become reality.
Excerpt from Centers for Spiritual Living Global Vision:
● We envision all people, all beings, and all life as expressions of God.
● We envision a world where each and every person has enough food, a home, and a sense of belonging, a world of peace and harmony, enfranchisement and justice.
● We envision a world that works for everyone and for all of creation.