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.

Dr. Tonya M. Matthews

President & Chief Executive Officer

Headshot of John Anderson

John Anderson

Vice President of Administration
and Chief Operating Officer

Kat Beanland

Technology and Operations Supervisor

James Bartlett

James Bartlett

Interim Chief Curator

Dalton Baughn

Visitor Services Supervisor

Darius Brown

Research Assistant at the
Center for Family History


Toni Carrier

Director, Center for Family History


Marco Corona

Chief Development Officer

Suzanne DiBella


Ginny Deerin

Major Gifts Officer

Dianne Firment

Chief Financial Officer

Cheryl German

Finance Assistant

DeMett Jenkins

Lilly Director of Education and Engagement for Faith-Based Communities

Keisha Kirkland

Public and Community Relations Manager

Stacey Manigault

Facilities Superintendent

Martina Morale

Assistant Curator

Dr. Shelley Murphy

Coordinator of Genealogy Education

Sarah Raffurty

Membership Manager

Joshua Parks

Digital Production Manager

Vereene Parnell

Faith-Based Coordinator

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Angel Pendergrass

Accounting Manager


Malika N. Pryor

Chief Learning and Engagement Officer

matthew stevenson

Matthew Stevenson

Curatorial Assistant

Brandy T

Brandy Toussaint

Programs Assistant

Gwendolyn Wallace

Education Intern

Latitia Watkins

Executive Assistant to Dr. Matthews


All Directors serve as volunteers and generously time, talent, and financial support to the museum each year. Serving as a director 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,
Charlotte, North Carolina

Ross A Appel, City of Charleston Councilmember (District 11)

William Barnet III, CEO of The Barnet Company and Barnet Development Company, Duke Endowment Trustee and Former Mayor of Spartanburg, South Carolina

Robert E. Branan, CPA – Financial Manager 

Peg Breen, President, The New York Landmarks Conservancy 

Vernita Brown, Chief Executive Officer, Natalist

Dr. Tamara Butler, Executive Director of Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture  

Dr. Emory Campbell, Consultant of the Gullah Heritage Consulting Services

Evelyn McGee Colbert, President of the Montclair Film Festival Board of Trustees

Grady L. Crosby

Henry E. Darby, Member, Charleston County Council

Richard D. Elliot, EsqAttorney, Former Chair,

Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce

Michael P. Gianoni, President & CEO of Blackbaud, Inc.

Anna Glass, Executive Director, Dance Theater of Harlem 

James Hairston, Director of Policy, Facebook Reality Labs 

Rev. Dr. Isaac Holt, Pastor of Royal Missionary Baptist Church

Wilbur E. Johnson, Esq., Attorney & Managing Partner, Clement Rivers, LLP

Melissa L. Lindler, Director, Office of Business Opportunities, City of Columbia, South Carolina

George S. Loening, Chairman & CEO of Select Equity Group LP

Erwin Maddrey, II, Former CEO & President of Delta Woodside Industries

Kent Matlock, Chairman & CEO of Matlock Advertising and Public Relations

Lenard McKelvey, Radio Host of “The Breakfast Club,” known as Charlamagne tha God

Tonya M. Matthews, Ph.D., ex officio, President & CEO of International African American Museum

Rev. Kylon J. MiddletonCharleston County Council Councilman
(District 6)

Carolyn Murray, Co-anchor of WCBD Channel 2

Bernard E. Powers, Jr, Ph.D., Director, Center for the Study of Slavery in Charleston 

Joseph P. Riley, Jr., Lifetime Member of the Board, Former Mayor of Charleston, South Carolina

Katherine S. Robinson, Former President and CEO of Historic Charleston Foundation

Minor Mickel Shaw, President of Micco, LLC, Chairman of The Duke Endowment

Rita Scott

Henry B. Smythe, Esq., Attorney, Womble Bond Dickinson

Halle Tecco, President, & Chief Women’s Health Officer, Natalist 

Mayor John Tecklenburg, Mayor of Charleston, South Carolina

Keith Waring, Member, Charleston City Council Financial Planner

Heather Andrew Williams, Ph.D., Geraldine R. Segal Professor of American Social Thought, Department of  Africana Studies – University of Pennsylvania


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 (deceased), 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 (deceased), 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 (deceased), 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 (deceased), 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 F. 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, Former President, Claflin University, NAACP Award-Educator of the Year, American Council on Education Commission on Effective Leadership

William Winter (deceased), 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

Opening in 2023
The road to Opening Day starts NOW!