Investments from these five national and international foundations, totaling $1 million, resoundingly affirm the museum’s vital mission and significance.
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) provided support to the IAAM through a grant for $150,000 - a tribute to the SNF’s mission to support organizations that aim to achieve broad, lasting and positive impact for society at large. “The IAAM will be a center of learning and commemoration and will serve as a vital educational resource for students of all ages to understand this critical piece of our history. It is through full and transparent acknowledgement of the past that we move forward to build a better future,” said Andreas Dracopoulos, Co-President of the SNF. By creating interactive learning experiences, this museum will provide missing chapters of our nation’s history, uncovering the broad and often central role African Americans have played in building our state, country and world.
Joseph P. Riley, Jr., former Charleston mayor and IAAM board member, first embarked on his journey to bring the museum to life nearly two decades ago. “To arrive at this point, and to announce the generous investments of some of our nation’s most respected foundations speaks volumes about the importance of this institution,” Riley said. “I am honored to count these philanthropic organizations among our supporters.
“This process – working one on one with these lauded foundations to uncover the ways that our core values and interests align – has been a privilege,” said Michael Boulware Moore, IAAM President and CEO. “Each of these organizations has found a unique and meaningful way to express their support, and we are so proud to be working with them to breathe life into this museum, which our nation needs now, more than ever.”
About the IAAM:
Nearly half of all enslaved Africans forced to America through the Transatlantic Slave Trade arrived in Charleston, and the vast majority disembarked at Gadsden’s Wharf, the future home of the International African American Museum (IAAM) and one of the most significant and sacred sites of the African American experience in the Western hemisphere. The IAAM, a museum, memorial and site of conscience, will present unvarnished history and culture, commemorate and celebrate the foundational role that Africans and their descendants played in the making of America, and highlight their diasporic connections around the world. It will include immersive, interactive exhibits engaging to all ages and feature the Center for Family History, a leading genealogy archive that will help visitors identify their individual threads in the complex tapestry of history.