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Mar 28, 2018

Johnson Controls Invests $1 Million in International African American Museum

  • IAAM in the Media

CHARLESTON, S.C. (March 28, 2018) – The International African American Museum (IAAM) announced today a $1 million gift from Johnson Controls, a catalytic leadership investment that comes ahead of the museum’s anticipated groundbreaking later this year.

“Receiving this level of support from Johnson Controls, a global company based more than 1,000 miles away from Charleston, speaks to the national and international nature of this institution,” said IAAM board member and former Charleston mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr.

IAAM President and CEO Michael Boulware Moore added that, “The stories we are telling are universally significant – they are relevant regardless of geographic location or personal background. We are presenting vital chapters of American and world history, and we believe that this museum will resonate with people from all walks of life. We’re proud that Johnson Controls sees and understands that value and has joined us in making this vision a reality.”

Johnson Controls serves some of South Carolina’s best-known institutions, including the University of South Carolina, Clemson University and the Medical University of South Carolina.

“A fundamental value of Johnson Controls is to make a difference in the communities we serve, and we are proud to support the International African American Museum, which will help tell the stories of many of these communities around the world for generations to come,” said George Oliver, Johnson Controls chairman and CEO. 

Johnson Controls took an interest in the museum in part because of its commitment to diversity and inclusion, a foundational value of the corporation.

“The Johnson Controls team lives and works in a global community, and for that reason, diversity and inclusion are of paramount importance to us,” said Grady Crosby, Johnson Controls chief diversity officer and president of the Johnson Controls Foundation. “We strive to embrace the true value of diversity and inclusion, and we know that it is imperative that we make a concerted effort to understand diverse perspectives. The IAAM will elevate under-told stories that are vital to the broader American narrative, and we look forward to seeing the institution come to life.”

Johnson Controls’ investment will be recognized in the IAAM’s Center for Family History, a leading genealogy archive that will leverage databases and DNA testing to help individuals identify their ancestors, countries of origin and even living relatives. This pillar of the museum will fuse past, present and future, as it empowers people of African descent to uncover their personal histories, enhance their understanding of their own identities, and assist them in connecting with unknown relatives.

About Johnson Controls:

Johnson Controls is a global diversified technology and multi industrial leader serving a wide range of customers in more than 150 countries. Our 120,000 employees create intelligent buildings, efficient energy solutions, integrated infrastructure and next generation transportation systems that work seamlessly together to deliver on the promise of smart cities and communities. Our commitment to sustainability dates back to our roots in 1885, with the invention of the first electric room thermostat. We are committed to helping our customers win and creating greater value for all of our stakeholders through strategic focus on our buildings and energy growth platforms. For additional information, please visit or follow us @johnsoncontrols on Twitter.

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.