International African American Museum
Mission: to honor the untold stories of the African American journey at one of our country’s most sacred sites.
African Ancestors Memorial Garden
The African Ancestors Memorial Garden is designed by creative director and founder of Hood Design Studio in Oakland, CA. It will commemorate one of our country’s most sacred sites. It will be a place to reflect, experience botanic gardens, artistic installations, a huge infinity fountain on the edge of the original wharf, a soundscape that explores diverse African languages, performances, programs and more. The Garden will be free and open to the public.
Listen to Walter Hood talk about the Garden.
Center for Family History
The Center for Family History will serve as a groundbreaking resource for the study and advancement of African American genealogy, with connections to Africa and the African
diaspora. Staff will provide guidance to novice and advanced genealogists to learn more
about family history using the Center’s unique collection of primary sources, documents, and
texts. Workshops and educational programming will be offered.
The Legacy of Harry Cobb
On October 28, 2019, “Harry” N. Cobb, founding partner of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners Architects spoke about designing the museum. He passed away on March 4, 2020 at the age of 93.
A Visual Tour of the Museum
Untold Stories: The Preview
Educational programs will provide life-long learning opportunities for visitors both young and old. We’re busy creating K-12 curriculum, field-trip experiences, digital content, professional development programs, and more.
Our innovative, fresh, fun, interesting and engaging programming will be provided inside of the museum as well as beyond its walls. We’ve already begun to offer programs. Please read our blog to find out more!
Untold stories about the central role of faith, spirituality and religion in the African and African American will be shared through programming and exhibitions. To learn about current programming, please read our blog.
THE IMPORTANCE OF PEOPLE
The Museum is so very grateful to the thousands of people and organizations that have helped to create the International African American Museum. Whether by providing advice, funds, expertise, volunteer time – or all four – we could not have gotten to this point in our development without you. Thank you!
Our team members are committed to excellence and share a common goal:
to leverage their individual strengths and help build a great institution.
Elijah Heyward III
Chief Operating Officer
Interim Chief Executive Officer
Director, Center for Family History
Museum Planning and Operations
Major Gifts Officer
Lilly Director of Education and Engagement for Faith-Based Communities
Director of Education and Engagement
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The business and affairs of the International African American Museum are governed and controlled by its Board of Directors. The Board insures the financial well-being and sustainability of the museum. All Directors serve as volunteers and generously donate hundreds of hours each year. Serving is a big commitment and we are sincerely grateful to each and every member.
William Barnet, III, CEO of The Barnet Company and Barnet Development Company, Duke Endowment Trustee and Former Mayor of Spartanburg, South Carolina
Mayor Steve Benjamin, Mayor of Columbia, South Carolina
Robert E. Branan, CPA, Financial Manager, Office of Jerome J. Richardson
Peg A. Breen, President of The New York Landmarks Conservancy
Vernita Brown, Director, HR and Operations, Natalist Evelyn McGee Colbert, President of the Montclair
Film Festival Board of Trustees
Robyn Coles, President of TRATE Properties
Grady L. Crosby, Vice President Public Affairs, Chief Diversity Officer and President, Johnson Controls Foundation
Henry E. Darby, Member, Charleston County Council Richard D. Elliott, Esq., Attorney, Former Chair,
Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce
Michael P. Gianoni, President & CEO of Blackbaud, Inc.
Jonathan Green, Artist & Activist, Jonathan Green Studios
James Hairston, Head, Public Policy, Oculus, Facebook
Rev. Dr. Isaac Holt, Pastor of Royal Missionary Baptist Church
Carolyn Hunter-Heyward, President of C&A Unlimited, Inc.
Wilbur E. Johnson, Esq., IAAM Board Chair, Attorney & Managing Partner, Young Clement Rivers, LLP
William E. Kennard, IAAM Board Treasurer, Co-Founder and Chairman of Velocitas Partners LLC and Former United States Ambassador to the European Union
Melissa L. Lindler, IAAM Board Secretary, Director, Office of Business Opportunities, City of Columbia, South Carolina
Erwin Maddrey, II, Former CEO & President of Delta Woodside Industries
Kent Matlock, Chairman and CEO of Matlock Advertising and Public Relations
Bernard E. Powers, Jr., Ph.D., Professor of History, College of Charleston Professor
Joseph P. Riley, Jr., Lifetime Member of the IAAM Board, Former Mayor of Charleston, South Carolina
Katherine S. Robinson, Former President and CEO of Historic Charleston Foundation
Rita Scott, Former VP of Live 5 WCSC
Minor Mickel Shaw, President of Micco, LLC,
Chairman of The Duke Endowment
Marva Smalls, Executive Vice President, Global Head of Inclusion of Viacom CBS
Henry B. Smythe, Esq., Attorney, Womble Bond Dickinson
J. Elliott Summey, Chair, Charleston County Council
Halle Tecco, Adjunct Professor at Columbia Business School and founder Emeritus of Rock Health
Mayor John Tecklenburg, Mayor of Charleston. South Carolina
Perry K. Waring, Charleston City Council Member, Financial Planner
Lucille S. Whipper, Lifetime Member of the IAAM Board, Activist and former State Representative
Heather Andrea Williams, Ph.D., Geraldine R. Segal Professor of American Social Thought, University of Pennslyvania
Dennis W. Archer, Served on Michigan Supreme Court, former Mayor of Detroit, 1st African American President of American Bar Association
Jeanne Moutoussamy Ashe, Arthur Ashe’s widow, photographer
Bruce Babbitt, Former United States Secretary of Interior and Governor of Arizona
David Beasley, Former South Carolina Representative and Governor of South Carolina, Chairman-Center for Global Strategies
Lonnie Bunch, 14th Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, Founding Director-Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture
James Clyburn, United States Representative, 1st African American in Congress from South Carolina since Reconstruction, founder of The James E. Clyburn Research and Scholarship Foundation, elected pres. of his NAACP youth chapter when he was 12 years old
Morris Dees, Co-founder/Chief trial counsel-South- ern Poverty Law Center, awarded the ABA Medal-their highest honor
David Dinkins, Former Mayor of NYC, 1st and only African American to hold that position, Professor-Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs
Howard Dodson, Director-Howard University Library, former director-Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, heavy involvement with African Burial Ground Project
Don Fowler, Former National Chair-DNC, Citadel
Professor-Urban Politics, Fowler Communications
Harvey Gantt, Architect, 1st African American student at Clemson, former Mayor of Charlotte-their 1st African American mayor
Henry Louis “Skip” Gates, Jr., Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, an American historian, literary scholar, journalist, cultural critic, and institution builder, became the first African-American scholar to be awarded the National Humanities Medal
Marcia Hale, President, Building America’s Future Education Fund, Assistant to President Clinton and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs at the White House
Jim Hodges, Former Governor of South Carolina, advisor/partner McQuire Woods
J. Mac Holladay, Founder/CEO-Market Street Services, Charleston and SC Chamber of Commerce
Sheila C. Johnson, Founder & CEO of Salamander Hotels & Resorts
Walter F. Johnson, Retired Army Brigadier General, former defense contractor
John Lewis, United States Representative, one of the “Big Six” of Civil Rights movement
Jon Meacham, Pulitzer award winning author, Executive Editor-Random House, former co-host-PBS
Marc H. Morial, President/CEO-National Urban League, former Mayor of New Orleans, appointed to President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability
Robert Moses, Educator, leader in Civil Rights movement, founder of The Algebra Project
Phylicia Rashad, Nationally acclaimed actress, 1st African-American actress to win Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play
Richard W. Riley, Former United States Secretary of Education, former SC Governor, Partner-Nelson Mullins law firm, honorary co-chair-World Justice Party
Steve Roberts, Journalist, writer, political commentator, Professor of journalism and political communication at the George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs
Kurt Schmoke, Dean, Howard University Law School, former Mayor of Baltimore-their 1st African American mayor, Rhodes Scholar, former Assistant US Attorney, part of President Carter’s Domestic Policy Staff
Cleveland Sellers, Former President, Voorhees College, former Director-African American Studies Program at USC, only person convicted/jailed during the 1968 Orangeburg Massacre, rec’d full pardon 25 years later
Inez Tenenbaum, Attorney, WYCHE, P.A.; former South Carolina Superintendent of Education
Henry Tisdale, President, Claflin University, NAACP Award-Educator of the Year, American Council on Education Commission on Effective Leadership
William Winter, Former Governor of Mississippi, The William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation on the Univ. of Miss. at Oxford, former member of President Clinton’s Advisory Board on Race, special counsel in Jones Walker law firm’s Government Relations Practice Group