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A conversation from Charleston with activist and mayoral candidate Mika Gadsden

Mika Gadsden stands outside a house with a porch
Ruta Smith
Mika Gadsden aims to center "Black contributions to progress" in her activism.

Mika Gadsden is a Charleston-area activist and content-creator. She’s also running for office as Mayor of Charleston this year: a non-partisan race in which there are currently six other candidates, including the incumbent. Gadsden has become known in the Charleston area for her activism centering Black contributions in terms of social and racial justice.

Mika Gadsden outside being interviewed by a WBFO reporter
Charles Gilbert
Mika Gadsden (L) spoke with WBFO in Marion Square, Charleston, SC.

“Black people here, we weren’t passive in our liberation. We were very active in bringing change to Charleston,” Gadsden says.

Gadsden meets WBFO reporter Holly Kirkpatrick in Marion Square in downtown Charleston to explain more. She also talks about the “silence with regard to anger” after the racist massacre at Mother Emanuel AME Church in June 2015. Gadsden says that for her, “there was a co-opting of the narrative by the dominant class,” in the aftermath.

When it comes to a message for Buffalo a year on from the Tops massacre, Gadsden says, “honor the different voices in your community…make sure that your people have a seat at the table with regard to any decisions that are made, any way forward, it has to be crafted by the people.”

Click ‘Listen’ to hear more from the conversation between Mika Gadsden and WBFO’s Holly Kirkpatrick.

Holly Kirkpatrick is a journalist whose work includes investigations, data journalism, and feature stories that hold those in power accountable. She joined WBFO in December 2022.
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