Charleston, South Carolina, Mayor John Tecklenburg and Reps. James Clyburn, Bennie Thompson and Cedric Richmond attend a ceremony announcing the establishment of a scholarship in honor of Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney, one of the "Charleston Nine" killed in the 2015 AME Emmanuel Church massacre.

The Congressional Black Caucus Political Education and Leadership Institute recently honored the legacy of Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney, one of the “Charleston Nine” killed in the 2015 Emmanuel AME Church massacre, with the launch of an annual scholarship program.

The institute established the Reverend Clementa C. Pinckney Legacy Builder Scholarship for their Political Leadership Training “Boot Camp.” The scholarship was announced last week in Charleston, S.C., with Pinckney’s wife Jennifer and daughters Eliana and Malana in attendance.

The Congressional Black Caucus Political Education and Leadership Institute is collaborating with the Reverend Clementa C. Pinckney Foundation to identify one individual who embodies Pinckney’s spirit of service to attend the Institute’s annual “Boot Camp.”

Pinckney, who was a Democratic member of the South Carolina Senate and senior pastor of Mother Emanuel AME Church, was elected to the South Carolina General Assembly in 1996 at the age of 23, becoming the youngest African-American elected as a South Carolina state legislator.

On June 17, 2015, Pinckney was murdered along with eight others in a mass shooting at an evening Bible study at the church.

The institute has been making an impact for over 15 years by raising awareness of issues affecting the African-American community. The institute’s programs aim to educate voters, train new political leaders and advocate powerful policy solutions.

Each year, the institute receives applications from across the country from individuals who want to engage in public advocacy and civic participation.

Since its inception, the “Boot Camp” has provided an intensive political training second to none to select individuals who have been sponsored by a member of the Congressional Black Caucus. There are over 500 alumni to include local, state and nationally elected officials.

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