SunTrust Bank Charitable Irrevocable Trust Pledges $350,000 to International African American Museum
Museum Values Align With SunTrust: Strengthen Communities, Elevate Diversity and Inclusion
CHARLESTON, S.C. (March 2, 2018) – The International African American Museum (IAAM) is proud to announce a $350,000 leadership commitment from the SunTrust Bank Charitable Irrevocable Trust. SunTrust supports the IAAM’s commitment to fortifying communities and enhancing diversity and inclusion. The IAAM will highlight diversity and explore its critical importance to creating the unique tapestry that is America.
“SunTrust is committed to advancing inclusion in the workplace and in our communities,” said David Fuller, head of corporate philanthropy, SunTrust Bank. “We’re proud to partner with IAAM to unite people in uncovering their ancestry, the role their ancestors played in history and potentially connect them to living relatives.”
Nearly half of all enslaved Africans brought to North America arrived in Charleston, and the vast majority disembarked at the former site of Gadsden’s Wharf, where the IAAM will be built. It is likely that nearly all African-Americans can trace at least one ancestor to this sacred ground. For that reason, the IAAM will include the Center for Family History, a leading genealogical archive that will help countless individuals connect with their personal histories.
“People of African descent do not have a place to visit that primarily allows them to explore their individual ancestries, their pasts, or their family’s journeys,” said Michael Boulware Moore, IAAM president and CEO. “The IAAM will be a place of pilgrimage, leveraging technology and data to link visitors to their relatives and their countries of origin, on the site where so many took their first steps into North America.”
This service is what attracted SunTrust to the IAAM. “We believe this gift is a way of community building through the support of the IAAM’s mission of celebrating African-American identity and connecting all people to African-American heritage,” said Mark Lattanzio, SunTrust Bank Charleston region president and CEO.
“The IAAM will fortify not only Charleston but also communities across America by illuminating vital chapters of our nation’s history and the critical role of African-Americans in our country’s past, present and future,” said Joseph P. Riley, Jr., former Charleston mayor and IAAM board member.
The pledge from the SunTrust Bank Charitable Irrevocable Trust will be recognized in the Sweetgrass Field in the African Ancestors Memorial Garden, a series of artistic installations and garden enclaves that honor the sacred site of Gadsden’s Wharf, where the IAAM will be built. The Sweetgrass Field will extend along the northern border of the garden, creating soft movement and delivering a signature Lowcountry greeting with waist-high sweetgrass.
The IAAM looks forward to highlighting the generosity of SunTrust in this beautiful space, where visitors will reflect on these critical, under-told components of American history and commemorate the lives of those who entered here.
About SunTrust Banks, Inc.
SunTrust Banks, Inc. (NYSE: STI) is a purpose-driven company dedicated to Lighting the Way to Financial Well-Being for the people, businesses, and communities it serves. Headquartered in Atlanta, the Company has two business segments: Consumer and Wholesale. Its flagship subsidiary, SunTrust Bank, operates an extensive branch and ATM network throughout the high-growth Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states, along with 24-hour digital access. Certain business lines serve consumer, commercial, corporate, and institutional clients nationally. As of December 31, 2017, SunTrust had total assets of $206 billion and total deposits of $161 billion. The Company provides deposit, credit, trust, investment, mortgage, asset management, securities brokerage, and capital market services. SunTrust leads onUp, a national movement inspiring Americans to build financial confidence. Join the movement at onUp.com.
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.