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Welcome to the International African American Museum! Advanced timed tickets are required for all visitors. Popular dates and times may be sold out.


The power behind our museum is our people.

Tonya M. Matthews, Ph.D.

President and CEO of International African American Museum

Dr. Tonya M. Matthews is a thought-leader in institutionalized equity and inclusion frameworks, social entrepreneurship, and the intersectionality of formal and informal education. Her background as both poet and engineer has made her a highly sought-after visioning partner on boards and community building projects, as well as a frequent public speaker and presenter for communities across all ages and venues.

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Our Executive Leadership Team

Dianne Firment

Chief Financial Officer

Malika N. Pryor

Chief Learning and Engagement Officer

Strategic Leadership Team

  • Dalton Baughn

    Director of Visitor Services

  • Melanie D. Collins

    Director of Human Resources, Talent & Culture

  • Shawn Crawford

    Senior Director of Safety and Security

  • Dr. Felice Knight

    Director of Education

  • Stacey Manigault

    Director of Facilities

  • Martina Morale

    Director of Curatorial and Special Exhibitions

  • Brandon Reid

    Public Historian

  • Brian Sheffey

    Director of Center for Family History


All members of our board serve as volunteers, generously giving time, talent, and financial support to the museum each year. Their service is a significant commitment to the museum and we are sincerely grateful to each and every member.

  • Bishop Claude R. Alexander, Jr.

    Bishop of The Park Church

  • Ross A. Appel

    City of Charleston Councilmember (District 11)

  • William Barnet III

    CEO of the Barnet Company and Barnet Development Company

  • Robert E. Branan

    Financial Manager with The Private Office

  • Peg Breen

    President of the New York Landmarks Conservancy

  • Vernita Brown

    CEO of Natalist

  • Dr. Tamara Butler

    Executive Director of the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture

  • Dr. Emory Campbell

    Main Consultant of Gullah Heritage Consulting Services

  • Grady L. Crosby

    Vice President of Enterprise ESG, Northwestern Mutual

  • Henry E. Darby

    Charleston County Councilmember (District 4)

  • Richard D. Elliot, Esq.


  • Michael P. Gianoni

    President and CEO of Blackbaud, Inc.

  • Anna Glass

    Executive Director of Dance Theater of Harlem

  • James Hairston

    Director of Policy of Facebook Reality Labs

  • Rev. Dr. Isaac Holt Jr.

    Pastor of Royal Missionary Baptist Church

  • Wilbur E. Johnson, Esq.

    Attorney and Managing Partner at Clement Rivers, LLP

  • Melissa L. Lindler

    Chief of Staff, Southeast Crescent Regional Commission

  • George S. Loening

    Chairman and CEO of Select Equity Group LP

  • Erwin Maddrey II

    Former CEO and President of Delta Woodside Industries

  • Kent Matlock

    Chairman and CEO of Matlock Advertising and Public Relations

  • Tonya M. Matthews, Ph.D.

    President and CEO of International African American Museum

  • Lenard McKelvey

    Radio host of “The Breakfast Club” and known as Charlamagne tha God

  • Rev. Kylon Jerome Middleton, EdD

    Charleston County Council Member (District 6) and Pastor of Mt. Zion AME Church

  • Carolyn Murray

    Co-anchor of WCBD Channel 2

  • Bernard E. Powers, Jr., Ph.D.

    Director of the Center for the Study of Slavery in Charleston

  • Joseph P. Riley, Jr.

    Former Mayor of Charleston, South Carolina

  • Katherine S. Robinson

    Former President and CEO of Historic Charleston Foundation

  • Rita Scott

    Former Station Manager at WCSC-TV

  • Minor Mickel Shaw

    President of Micco, LLC

  • Henry B. Smythe, Esq.

    Attorney at Womble Bond Dickinson

  • Halle Tecco

    President and Chief Women’s Health Officer of Natalist

  • John Tecklenburg

    Former Mayor of Charleston, South Carolina

  • Keith Waring

    City of Charleston Councilmember (District 7)

  • Heather Andrew Williams, Ph.D.

    Geraldine R. Segal Professor of American Social Thought, University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Africana Studies

  • Denotes ex-officio board members

National Advisory Board

  • Dennis W. Archer

    Former Mayor of Detroit, MI

  • Jeanne Moutoussamy Ashe

    Photographer and widow of legendary tennis player Arthur Ashe

  • David Beasley

    Former Governor of South Carolina

  • Lonnie Bunch

    Fourteenth Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution

  • James Clyburn

    United States Representative (District 6)

  • David Dinkins

    Former Mayor of New York City, NY

  • Howard Dodson

    Director of Howard University Library

  • Don Fowler

    Former National Chair of the Democratic National Committee

  • Harvey Gantt

    Former Mayor of Charlotte, NC

  • Henry Louis Gates Jr.

    Professor and Director of the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard University

  • Jim Hodges

    Former Governor of South Carolina

  • Sheila C. Johnson

    Founder and CEO of Salamander Hotels & Resorts

  • John Lewis

    Former United States Representative

  • Jon Meacham

    Pulitzer Prize-winning Author

  • Marc H. Morial

    President and CEO of National Urban League

  • Robert Moses

    Founder of the Algebra Project

  • Phylicia Rashad

    Nationally-acclaimed Actress

  • Richard F. Riley

    Former United States Secretary of Education

  • Steve Roberts

    Professor of journalism and political communication at George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs

  • Kurt Schmoke

    Dean of Howard University Law School

  • Cleveland Sellers

    Former President of Voorhees College

  • Henry Tisdale

    Former President of Claflin University

  • William Winter

    Former Governor of Mississippi

  • In the spirit of honoring our ancestors, we continue to recognize our national advisors posthumously.


This team of committed partners engage faith-based communities in the Tricounty area (Charleston, Dorchester, Berkeley counties) and the Lowcountry Corridor (coastal South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida). Through their work with denominational and interfaith leaders and religious organizations, the Faith-Based Advisory Council increase the understanding of, involvement in and commitment to the mission and work of the International African American Museum.

  • Rev. Dr. R. Marshall Blalock

    First Baptist Church of Charleston

  • Rev. Patricia Bligen Jones

    Hebron Zion PCUSA

  • Rev. Alverta G. Bowens

    United Church, Beaufort

  • Minister Eleanor Cooper Brown

    Wesley UMC, Penopolis

  • Ms. Barbara G. Clark

    St. Patrick Church

  • Ms. Pamela Cornwall Duncan

    Bethel UMC, Charleston

  • Deacon Madlyn L. Gabe

    Manna Life Center

  • Dr. David Goltra

    National/Regional CJCLDS

  • Ms. Naomi Gorestein

    Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim

  • Rev. Timothy Nathaniel Grant

    Greater St. Peters's Church

  • Rev. Iris Johnson Brown

  • Ms. Stephanie LeVan

    Seacoast Church

  • Ms. Heather Lyn Mann

    Indigo Sangha, Plum Village Community of Engaged Buddhism

  • Dr. Marion C. Platt, III

    Star Gospel Mission

  • Apostle Cleo Pringle

    Manna Life Center

  • Imam Herbert Fraser Rahim

    Masjid Al-Jami Ar-Rasheed

  • Ms. Leslie Skardon

    Unitarian Church in Charleston

  • Rev. Dr. Gregory A. Snyder

    St. John's Parish Church

  • Rev. Dr. William Swinton, Jr.

    Ebenezer AME Church

Selection Committee

  • Rabbi Stephanie Alexander

    Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim (KKBE)

  • Rev. Cecelia Armstrong

    St. James Presbyterian

  • Rev. Spike Coleman

    St. Andrews Presbyterian Church

  • Rev. Archie R. Fair

    Greater St. James AME Church

  • Evangelist Linda Gadson

    Wesley UMC, Youngs Island

  • Ms. Jakki Jefferson

    Manna Life Center

  • Mr. Gerald Mackey

    Wesley United Methodist Church

  • Rev. Sherri McClain-Brown

    Great Present AME Church

  • Judge Arthur McFarland

    St. Patrick’s Catholic Church

  • Rev. Dr. Adam Shoemaker

    St. Stephens Episcopal Church

  • Ms. Priscilla Shumway

    The Unitarian Church in Charleston

  • Rev. Luciano Soto

    El Lugar de su Gloria

  • Rev. Walter Strawther

    United Methodist Church

  • Imam Edward Washington

    Masjid Al-Jami Ar-Rasheed