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Charleston 2019 Atlantic Peace and Dialogue Award Dinner

left2The 10th Annual Atlantic Peace and Dialogue Awards Dinner was celebrated on Thursday, April 25, 2019 at The Citadel’s Holliday Alumni Center. Truly, the evening was a phenomenal time of fellowship graciously MC’d by Peter Shahid and keynoted by Charleston legend Mayor Joe Riley.
We are especially grateful for the generosity of our Presenting Sponsor, The Charleston Bar Association. Having their support for our event and seeing the pride in their eyes as they bestowed the Peace and Dialogue Award to Brian Duffy was incredibly heartwarming. The dynamic synergy in the room created by our fabulous table sponsors exemplified the desire within our community for unity, growth, and partnership across businesses, nonprofits, and educational institutions within Charleston.
If you were unable to attend this year’s awards ceremony, we encourage you to take a moment and read about our award recipients, as each unique individual contributes to our beloved community in essential and purposeful ways. In addition to Brian Duffy for his leadership of the Charleston Forum, we also extend congratulations once again to Dr. Reshma Khan (The Shifa Clinic), Brian Hicks (Author and columnist for the Post and Courier), and Still Serving founders, Rebekah Edmondson and Kyle McKibben.
Thank you to the following table sponsors for this year’s incredible event. We consider you a part of the Atlantic Institute family and look forward to growing and serving the community with you in new ways during future events:

The Charleston Bar Association
The College of Charleston: Office of the President
The College of Charleston: Office of the Provost
The College of Charleston: School of Humanities and Social Sciences
The College of Charleston: Urban Studies, Psychology, Sociology, and Anthropology
The College of Charleston: School of the Arts
The Citadel: Krause Center for Leadership and Ethics
The Citadel: Summerall Chapel
Charleston County School Board
The Charleston Central Labor Council
The Social Justice Racial Equity Collaborative
Unity of Charleston
Don & Marty Belk


This year's program was as follows:


Speaker: Former Mayor Riley


Joe Riley is widely considered one of the most visionary and highly effective governmental leaders in America. He served ten terms as Mayor of the City of Charleston from 1975 to 2016.

He graduated from The Citadel in 1964 and the University of South Carolina Law School in 1967, and served in the S.C. House of Representatives from 1968 to 1974.

In his time as Mayor, Charleston transformed from a decaying urban center to a top cultural destination. He is known for his innovative redevelopment projects, carefully crafted to add to the overall quality of life in the city. He diffused racial tensions by working closely with the African American community. The crisis leadership that he demonstrated after Hurricane Hugo in 1989 gained national praise for getting the city quickly cleaned up and running.

Today, Riley is professor of American Government and Public Policy at The Citadel and Executive in Residence at the Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Center for Livable Communities at the College of Charleston. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the Pew Charitable Trusts, working on smart solutions for flood-prone communities and the national government, and the first Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Urban Land Institute. Riley is also currently working to build the International African-American Museum, a $100 million project scheduled to break ground in 2019.

Under his leadership, Charleston increased its commitment to racial harmony and progress, achieved a substantial decrease in crime, experienced a remarkable revitalization of its historic downtown business district, supported the creation and growth of Spoleto Festival USA, added significantly to the City’s park system including the highly celebrated Waterfront Park, developed nationally acclaimed affordable housing, and experienced unprecedented growth in Charleston’s size and population.

Mayor Riley led a city government with an impressive record of innovation in public safety, housing, arts and culture, children’s issues, and economic revitalization and development. The City of Charleston is recognized as one of the most livable and progressive cities in the United States.

Riley has held numerous national leadership positions and received many awards and distinctions. President Barack Obama presented him with the 2009 National Medal of the Arts for cultivating Charleston’s historic and cultural resources to enhance public spaces, and for revitalizing urban centers throughout the U.S. as the founder of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design. The American Architectural Foundation and the U.S. Conference of Mayors in 2010 created the Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Award for Leadership in City Design in his honor. He received the American Society of Landscape Architects’ 2004 Olmsted Medal; Governing Magazine named him their Public Official of the Year in 2003 for “leveraging the power of urban design and civic space.” The American Architectural Foundation honored him in 2002 with the Keystone Award for exemplary leadership to those who use architecture to transform their communities. He was named one of the 2004 Giants of Design by House Beautiful Magazine and received the first U.S. Conference of Mayors President’s Award in 2000 for outstanding leadership.
In 2000, he was honored as the first recipient of the Urban Land Institute’s J. C. Nichols Prize for Visionary Urban Development, and also in 2000, was honored with the Arthur J. Clement Award in Race Relations for his battle to remove the confederate flag from the S.C. Statehouse. Riley received the 1994 Thomas Jefferson Award for “his exceptional leadership and ‘Jeffersonian’ vision in redefining the promise and, ultimate the future, of our nation and its cities.”
He has received the Seaside Prize from the Seaside Institute for exemplary leadership and contributions to high-quality urban design throughout America. He received the Outstanding Mayors Award from the National Urban Coalition, the Distinguished Citizen Award by the National Association of Realtors.

He served as President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in 1986-87 and has received honorary degrees from ten colleges and universities.


MC: Peter Shahid


Peter Shahid was elected to the Charleston City Council in November 2015. After he was sworn into office he presented to newly inaugurated Mayor, John Tecklenburg the need to establish a commission comprising of City officials, business leaders and citizens to study the revitalization of the area of the City designated as West Ashley. City Council in August 2016 approved an ordinance creating the West Ashley Revitalization Commission, whose mission is to assure the long-term economic stability of West Ashley by revitalizing the unique character of the district and supporting values that assure West Ashley is a great place to live work, play invest and do business.

Council Member Shahid was appointed Chairman of the Commission in 2016 and continues to serve in that capacity. On May 1, 2018, the Historic Charleston Foundation presented to the West Ashley Revitalization Commission the Robert N.S. and Patti Food Whitelaw Founders Award in recognition for its work to recognize and champion the historic character and livability of West Ashley, A distinguished achievement in historic preservation in Charleston , South Carolina. In addition to his service as Chairman of the West Ashley Revitalization Commission he is assigned to several standing committees: Public Safety, Public Works, and Recreation. In 2018 he was appointed the Chairman of the Public Safety Committee and Chairman of the 350 Celebration Committee.

Mr. Shahid was admitted to the South Carolina Bar in November 1981. He is admitted to practice in the United States District Court, District of South Carolina, the United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit and the United States Supreme Court. During his legal he has served as an Assistant Public Defender for Charleston County, and was appointed as an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of South Carolina. He served as an Associate Municipal Judge for the Town of Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, between 1997 through 2006.

Mr. Shahid is the President of the Charleston County Bar Association. He is a member of the American Bar Association, and a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. Mr. Shahid has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers Association as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer for 2014, 2015 and 2016. In March 2016 he was presented by the Lawyers Weekly the Leadership in Law Award.

He has been a speaker at numerous legal seminars and on topics including class action litigation, property-related matters, probate and legal ethics. He is a Board member of the Historic Rotary Club of Charleston, Co-Chair of the University of South Carolina School of Law Alumni Association. Mr. Shahid is Past president of the Florence Crittendon Executive Board and Past President of the Harleston Village Neighborhood Association.

Mr. Shahid is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1978 and Juris Doctorate in 198. He is married to Mary D. Shahid, who is a partner with the law firm of Nexsen Pruet. They have three grown children and one tennis ball chasing yellow lab (AJ)


2019 Awardees - Atlantic Peace & Dialogue Awards

Peace and Dialogue Award: Brian C. Duffy

Brian was born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina. He and his wife Medéa moved back here from Washington, DC in 2004 and have since raised their family of three children and two labs on James Island.
Brian graduated from James Island High School and the University of North Carolina. Brian then moved to Nashville for three years, having accepted the John Wade Scholarship at Vanderbilt Law School. After graduating from law school, Brian worked for two United States Judges, at the trial level for District Judge C. Lynwood Smith, Jr. of the Northern District of Alabama and at the appellate level for Circuit Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson of the District of Columbia Circuit. Brian stayed in Washington, spending six months as counsel to the Judicial Review Commission on Foreign Assets Control before working several years as an associate at the nationally prominent law firm of Arnold & Porter. Brian returned to Charleston in 2004 and began to practice with Nelson, Mullins, Riley, & Scarborough where he was elected partner in 2006. Brian also served as an Adjunct Professor of Commercial Law at the Charleston School of Law. In 2007 Brian and Rutledge Young founded their civil litigation law firm of Duffy & Young. Each of them and others in the firm have been recognized as Super Lawyers and as top-rated in Martindale-Hubbell. They are proud for the firm to have been recognized by US News & World Report as one of the top firms in South Carolina.
Brian has actively served the Charleston community, fromprojects he led in high school and as a Guardian ad Litem for children in family court, to his more recent roles as a Director of the local Boys & Girls Club and President of the Charleston County Bar Association. No role has been more significant for Brian, however, than his role as founder and Chair of The Charleston Forum. The Charleston Forum was born in the aftermath of the massacre at Mother Emanuel and is now a part of the annual events in June commemorating the community members we lost that day. The horrific events, the reactions of the families, and the response of the community had a powerful impact on most people in our country. They also set the table for a discussion about racial issues in society with more of a passion for progress and unity. The Charleston Forum is providing that discussion.
The Forum has hosted events at the Charleston Music Hall where local and national leaders share their different perspectives on issues defined in part by race and, more importantly, share their ideas and plans for resolving those issues. The Forum not only opens eyes to and focuses minds on these community problems, it facilitates movement by introducing interested community members to other organizations—our Action Partners—who already are working to address particular problems.
Brian is always happy to discuss your interest in The Charleston Forum. You also can follow the 501(c)(3) organization on social media and make a donation there and can see videos of presentations and learn more about the Forum at

Public and Community Service Award: Dr. Reshma Khan


Dr. Reshma Khan is the Founder and Executive Director of the Shifa Free Clinic. She completed her Ob/Gyn residency from Saint Elizabeth hospital, Youngstown OH. Since then has worked in private practice in Indiana Maryland and finally relocated to Charleston SC and worked at Ralph Johnson VA medical center for 8 years . While working at VA medical center she founded the Shifa free clinic .

This clinic, founded in 2012, serves the multi-specialty medical needs of uninsured and indigent population of the Tricounty area regardless of race, religion, gender, or ethnicity. It also has outreach programs such as hunger prevention, back to school giveaways, clothes closet, and educational programs for the community and graduating Medical Residents, Nurse Practitioner students, Physician assistant students from MUSC and other online university programs as well as Public health interns from College of Charleston helping them attain career goals.

Dr Khan is an active participant in various interfaith programs in Charleston and has been an invited speaker at various churches, College of Charleston, 9/11 memorial services and major events including Women's march on Washington in Charleston. She also volunteers her time as member of the Professional Advisory committee for the Roper Saint Francis Chaplain program. She has taken leadership roles at the Central Mosque of Charleston, to develop outreach programs between various faiths and is a member of their Board of Trustees. She also is board member for Sister of charity foundation Columbia SC. She worked as a staff Gynecologist at the VA Hospital for 8 years and has now fully committed to her free clinic . She has been featured in articles and TV shows and was named as Everyday hero by Count 2 news .She is also recipient of following awards: Non profit Leader 2017 from Trident United Way , Leadership in Diversity award by Sisters of Charity foundation, Mayor's proclamation of Reshma khan day for August 23 2017, has been honored as one of the ten trail bralizers in SC by Women's Right and Empowerment Network, won Dedicated community service award by Prevent Cancer Foundation and was honored by YWCA of Charleston as one of 10 awardees for the YWCA #WhatWomenBring awards luncheon.

She is married to Dr Ahsan Khan and they have 3 children ages 16, 14 and 11


Media and Communications Award: Brian Hicks


Brian Hicks is a columnist for The Post and Courier and the author or co-author of 10 books. His most recent work, In Darkest South Carolina, tells the story of Judge Waties Waring and his civil rights advocacy, which led to the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education.

Hicks' journalism has appeared in national and international publications since 1986, and he has written about Southern history and politics for 30 years. He has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, National Public Radio, the Discovery Channel, the National Geographic Channel and in Smithsonian Magazine. His opinion column, which appears in The Post and Courier three times a week, has won three Green Eyeshade Awards for best commentary in the Southeast from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is a former South Carolina Press Association Journalist of the Year.

His previous books include Ghost Ship, When the Dancing Stopped and Sea of Darkness. His Toward the Setting Sun and Raising the Hunley were selections of the Book-of-the-Month Club, and his biography of Joe Riley, The Mayor, won the national Silver Medal for biography in the 2016 Independent Publisher Book Awards.

A native of Tennessee, he has lived in Charleston more than 20 years.




Impact and Innovation Award: Rebekah Edmondson & Kyle McKibben


Rebekah Edmondson, originally from Saint Louis, Missouri, served in the US Army for 10 years. Following her fourth and final deployment to Afghanistan in 2016, she decided to start a new chapter in her life, which she found at the College of Charleston. After having the unique experience of training women in Afghanistan to serve in a partner military unit, she discovered a true passion for leadership and a thirst for necessary change. Through rigorous endeavors to locate educational resources to support the comrades she had worked with overseas, Rebekah decided in order to help empower those without access to education, that she, herself, must first go back to finish her college degree.

Upon meeting for the first time as fellow classmates during the spring of 2017, the two veterans discovered they had once been deployed at the exact same time and location while serving in Afghanistan. Their friendship grew over the course of the semester as they reminisced about the devastating environment which they each encountered while deployed. Kyle and Rebekah bonded over the desire to help other struggling veterans, as they too were desperate to reconnect with meaningful work and a sense of purpose.

Together, they formed an initiative in Charleston called “Still Serving,” whose goal is to raise awareness of the essential need for leadership opportunities for veterans who desire to continue the path of selfless service. They aim to empower veterans to serve their communities as they so bravely did their country, and through meaningful community-focused employment, find their sense of belonging and brotherhood that was critical to mission success. They believe veterans are individuals who have proven their reliability and dedication to a task; therefore, to overlook their contribution is to overlook one of our most precious resources we possess as a society. Their objective is to determine how we, as a community, might best support those individuals who are longing to stand once again for something bigger than themselves, and ensure they are fitted with the proper resources and skills to be leaders once again.


kyleKyle McKibben was born in Muncie, Indiana but moved with his family to Seneca, South Carolina just before high school. Through his childhood and into high school he spent most of his time focusing on the arts and music, and realized quickly after graduation that he wanted to see what the world had to offer before he committed himself to a path and long term goal. He had no solid plans to attend college and never cared much about a formal education. He certainly never imagined that he would have ended up spending 9 years in the US Navy Reserves and a deploying to Afghanistan but acknowledges this as an important step in finding his path forward. During his enlistment he found that while he appreciated the opportunity and honor to serve something bigger than himself, the Navy was only the first step to finding a career in helping those who desperately need it.

While on deployment, he became aware of the horrors of war and the lasting trauma that can impact a service member long after the uniform has been put away. After returning safely from Afghanistan with a new lease on life, Kyle found focus and inspiration in the idea of serving beyond the military. He enrolled at Trident Technical College in Charleston, SC with ambitions to work in Physical Therapy with the goal of rehabilitating injured combat veterans. Adhering to his philosophy that total health and wellness is a combination of physical and mental health, he began to tailor his education towards Psychology and Physiology. He felt that the combination of his veteran status and his chosen academic path placed him in a unique position with the ability to directly relate with the people he intended to help. He understood that with ability comes responsibility, and that responsibility was not to be taken lightly. After completing pre-requisite requirements for the PTA program, he enrolled at the College of Charleston to focus on getting his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.

It was at CofC where Kyle met his dear friend and fellow veteran student, Rebekah Edmondson. The two were enrolled in the same Environmental Sociology class where Rebekah and Kyle often reflected on their time in the military and the devastating impacts of the war in Afghanistan. Under the mentorship of Dr. Deborah Auriffeille, Kyle and Rebekah conducted an independent study to identify and understand the struggles veterans face when returning to their communities. It was this study which led to the creation of their 501 (c)(3), Still Serving SC, whose mission is to connect transitioning service members with resources and opportunities to serve their communities as they did their country. He believes that only through a positive, peaceful, and active connection to their communities, these former service members can overcome trauma and create a sense of unity, pride, and purpose once again.

Kyle currently lives in West Ashley, SC with his wife Elizabeth, their two dogs Penny and Wilco, and their cat Olive. Kyle is set to graduate from CofC December of 2019 and will continue his dedication to Still Serving and helping as many veterans as possible.