Social media billionaire Mark Zuckerberg on Sunday visited Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, as part of his effort to visit communities in all 50 states.
The church, which was the site of a massacre in 2015 that left nine people dead, has always been a pillar of the community. Facebook CEO Zuckerberg attended a service and ate dinner with city leaders, including the mayor, police chief, and the heads of local nonprofits and religious groups.
Zuckerberg wrote about the visit on Facebook: "I am deeply grateful to Reverend Eric S.C. Manning and the Mother Emanuel family for welcoming me into your community. ... I hope more communities lift up their eyes to see what you have built. It will help them when their hearts are heavy, and it will help us all build stronger communities around the world."
Zuckerberg wrote, "The Mother Emanuel community, with a tradition of fighting injustice, led the city in setting a tone of calm for the whole nation."
Zuckerberg also visited the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities in Greenville. He spent two hours watching a dance performance, touring the campus and leading a roundtable of students to discuss their career paths.
"They told me one reason the community got through this is they've been building strong bonds for years. The mayor said that you can't wait until a crisis to build community; you need strong community in place when a crisis hits," Zuckerberg also wrote.
In January, Zuckerberg said his New Year's challenge was to visit and meet with people from every state in the United States by the end of 2017.
"I've spent significant time in many states already, so I'll need to travel to about 30 states this year to complete this challenge," Zuckerberg wrote in a January Facebook post