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Center for Heirs’ Property Preservation Announces Annual Commitment to Justice Award Reception and Honoree



Press Release

On Thursday, March 19th, the Center for Heirs’ Property Preservation will honor Christine Osburn Jackson (right) with its “Commitment to Justice” Award at the Francis Marion Hotel (387 King St.) from 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm.

Mrs. Jackson has epitomized the pursuit of justice throughout her life.  She moved to Charleston in 1963 as a home economist for Clemson University Extension Service.  She followed her husband, the late Rev. E. L. Jackson, who moved here after losing his job as a football coach for simply participating in a civil rights march.  The fight for equality and justice was a part of the couple’s D.N.A.; it is a family trait. Ms. Jackson is first cousin to Coretta Scott King, widow of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Christine Jackson led the Greater Charleston YWCA, formerly the Coming Street YWCA, for 37 years.  When she became Executive Director in 1966, the organization was a segregated institution. Under her leadership the YWCA withstood vestiges of racial segregation to emerge as the local community’s premiere organization inspiring generations of young women to become strong leaders and advocates for opportunity.

Join us to honor Christine Osburn Jackson and support the Center.  Proceeds support the Center’s work to protect heirs’ property and to promote the sustainable use of land through increased economic benefit to low wealth, historically under-served families.  

Past award recipients include: Judge Richard E. Fields, Judge Alex Sanders, Dr. Theodore S. Stern, Ret. Chief Justice Ernest A. Finney, Jr., Honorable Lucille S. Whipper, Ret. Chief Justice Jean H. Toal, Rev. McKinley Washington, Jr., Judge Bernard Fielding and Attorney Armand Derfner, Esq.

This event welcomes nearly 200 guests each year. It is not a sit-down dinner but an hour reception with passed and plated hors d’oeuvres and an hour program. The emphasis is on story-telling and humor and personal reminiscences by those close to the honoree. The evening invariably feels like a big family that has come together to show their love and admiration for the recipient.  For sponsorship and ticket information call Brett Wadford at 843-745-7055 or visit our website:

Our host for the evening will be Carolyn Murray, evening anchor for Count on News 2, WCBD-TV here in Charleston.  Carolyn has always looked up to Mrs. Jackson who has been a friend and mentor throughout her life.  She is a 1984 graduate of Burke High School in Charleston and a 1988 graduate of the University of South Carolina in Columbia. Carolyn is also a Riley Fellow, and a member of the Diversity Leaders Institute class of 2010.

The Center is a non-profit organization that protects heirs’ property and promotes the sustainable use of land to provide increased income to historically under-served landowners.  Its services include: legal and forestry education, direct legal services to resolve heirs’ property title issues, forestry land management services, technical assistance and connection to programs and financial assistance to make these families’ land more profitable.

The Center for Heirs’ Property Preservation has been protecting heirs’ property through legal education and direct legal services since 2005. In 2013, the Center began promoting the sustainable use of land through forestry education and services to provide increased economic benefit to low-wealth family land owners. The Center provides legal services and forestry services in Allendale, Bamberg, Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Clarendon, Colleton, Darlington, Dorchester, Florence, Georgetown, Hampton, Horry, Jasper, Marion, Orangeburg, Sumter and Williamsburg counties. 

To date, the Center has provided 2,713 persons with free, one-hour “Advice and Counsel” (A&C) with 602 clients receiving direct legal services to clear title. A total of 1,063 simple wills have been drafted at free, community Wills Clinics; more than 430 families (who collectively own in excess of 22,000 acres) have benefited from various levels of education and expert resources to develop and implement sustainable forestry management plans, and 245 titles have been cleared on family land with a total tax-assessed value of $14.4 million. 

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