Charleston, S.C. — The International African American Museum (IAAM) has received a $750,000 grant from the New York Life Foundation, bringing the Foundation’s total philanthropic investment to $1 million. This most recent grant will provide $200,000 for museum general operating costs in addition to $550,000 for the Center for Family History (CFH), an unprecedented research center with a special focus on African American genealogy, and a central pillar of IAAM.
“We are honored to receive this generous investment from the New York Life Foundation and truly appreciate the interest in the Center for Family History,” said Dr. Tonya Matthews, president and CEO of the International African American Museum. “Here at the museum, we honor the power of story – and being able to take our visitors on a journey through their own via the Center for Family History is a vital part of our work. This kind of personal discovery alongside exploration of our galleries, art, and objects with national and international significance is what sets us apart, and it’s what makes engaging with these stories transformational.”
Through the development of resources and programs, the CFH will help individuals and families advance an understanding of their family’s history and the role their ancestors played in shaping American history. The New York Life Foundation’s $550,000 investment will provide funding for continued development of the CFH, including such things as an upgrade to CFH’s online presence, the digitization of genealogy documents, and virtual and on-site CFH programming.
“We are proud to continue our support for the International African American Museum with a particular focus on the first-of-its-kind Center for Family History,” said Heather Nesle, president of the New York Life Foundation. “Our grant will help individuals and families trace their ancestry and preserve important records. The Center, with its focus on genealogy, fits well with our company’s ongoing support of African American history.”
New York Life and the New York Life Foundation were early partners in the capital campaign for IAAM, with a first investment of $100,000 in 2017 and another $150,000 in 2020. Since 1979, the New York Life Foundation has worked to provide crucial resources to those in need and has provided over $415 million in charitable contributions to national and local nonprofit organizations.