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Published on October 10th, 2017 | by Millennium Magazine Staff

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$1 million pledged to International African American Museum

Darla Moore

South Carolinian Darla Moore and her eponymous foundation have generously pledged $1 million to the International African American Museum’s (IAAM) Founders Fund. This major leadership gift adds momentum to the IAAM’s fundraising efforts, which have progressed steadily over the year.

The IAAM, slated to break ground in early 2018, will be a museum and memorial built in Charleston on the former site of Gadsden’s Wharf, where nearly half of all enslaved Africans forced to America disembarked. This nationally significant institution will commemorate and celebrate the foundational role that Africans and their descendants played in the making of America.

“Darla’s incredible generosity has provided invaluable support to some of our most treasured parks and green spaces,” said Joseph P. Riley, Jr., former Charleston mayor and IAAM board member. “She is a philanthropic leader whose long-term commitment to South Carolina has been transformative in beautifying and preserving our communities.”

Ms. Moore, who was born in Lake City, South Carolina, has made significant investments in the state’s educational institutions, including the University of South Carolina, Clemson University and Claflin University.

“Over the years, I’ve collaborated with Mayor Riley on many endeavors that benefitted Charleston,” said Ms. Moore. “This is one more extraordinary opportunity to work together to better not only this city, but our country at large.”

The IAAM will harness the power of state-of-the-art interactive media to provide its visitors with dynamic and engaging learning opportunities. Its exhibits will highlight the often under-acknowledged role of African Americans in American and world history, providing guests with a new vision of the Lowcountry region, the nation and the world through the diasporic experiences of African ancestors and their descendants. Further, the IAAM will serve as a trailhead site, encouraging visitors to explore within and beyond the museum building, engaging a network of historic sites, as well as cultural and heritage resources relevant to the African American experience.

“Darla and her Foundation have demonstrated a deep commitment to institutions that promote education, improve communities, and sharpen young minds,” said Michael Boulware Moore, president and CEO of the IAAM. “One of the foremost goals of the IAAM is to foster lifelong learning in students of all ages by illuminating the innumerable contributions of African Americans to the fabric of our nation. We are honored to announce this leadership investment.”

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.

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