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Charleston Business

AT&T Contributes $250,000 to IAAM’s Founders Fund

Sep 18, 2017 12:29PM ● By Kathleen Maris

The International African American Museum (IAAM) received a $250,000 leadership investment from AT&T. The contribution to the IAAM’s Founders Fund brings the museum closer to meeting its private fundraising goal.

“It is a great honor to have the support of AT&T, a company that supports thousands of South Carolinians with quality jobs, long-term service, and impactful philanthropy – demonstrated once more through this generous support,” said former Charleston Mayor and IAAM board member Joseph P. Riley, Jr.

In July, the IAAM unveiled the digital platform for the Center for Family History, a leading genealogical archive that will be housed in the museum. Using state-of-the-art technology and DNA testing, the Center will connect people with their pasts.

“We look forward to recognizing this contribution in a Center for Family History support room,” said Michael Boulware Moore, president and CEO of the IAAM. “AT&T has spent decades connecting South Carolinians through technology, and now, in the Center for Family History, it will help us connect countless visitors with their ancestors, countries of origin, and even living relatives.”

The Center for Family History is a unique element of the IAAM, an institution that will detail hundreds of years of history, examine the African American experience through the lens of South Carolina, and celebrate diversity and inclusion. The IAAM will be built in Charleston on the former site of Gadsden’s Wharf, where nearly half of all enslaved Africans forced to America disembarked. The museum and memorial will call attention to this little-known history, honor those lives, and explore the countless contributions of African Americans to America and the world at large.

“AT&T believes in investing in its communities through meaningful philanthropy,” noted Pam Lackey, state president of AT&T South Carolina. “Our contribution to the IAAM will support not only Charleston and South Carolina, but our entire country for years to come. In addition to presenting the history that helped form this nation, it will show us how our differences make us collectively stronger – a core belief at AT&T.”

The IAAM looks forward to continuing to work with AT&T to bring this nationally significant institution to fruition.

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.

About Philanthropy & Social Innovation at AT&T:

AT&T is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities, and improving lives. Through its community initiatives, AT&T has a long history of investing in projects that create learning opportunities, promote academic and economic achievement, or address community needs. The company’s signature philanthropic initiative, AT&T Aspire, drives innovation in education to promote student success in school and beyond. With a financial commitment of $400 million since 2008, AT&T is leveraging technology, relationships and social innovation to help all students make their biggest dreams a reality.