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International African American Museum breaks ground with support from CCF donors

October 25, 2019 by Abigail Darlington

Coastal Community Foundation is proud to have been a part of the journey to the groundbreaking of the International African-American Museum on Friday. Through our Lowcountry Unity Fund as well as our fundholders’ generous grants, Coastal Community Foundation has collectively contributed more than $743,000 to the project.

The Foundation is also proud to hold the endowment fund for the museum, which will support its mission for generations and ensure our country’s history of slavery and systemic racism will never be forgotten.

“The International African-American Museum is not just about our history, it’s a key to our future,” said CEO and President Darrin Goss.  “We must establish a shared understanding of our past if we want to eliminate the racial inequities that exist today.”

Two CCF Board members gave significant sums: Anita G. Zucker contributed $2 million, and Herbert L. Drayton contributed $125,000.

It took 20 years and more than $100 million to get to this historic day, said former Charleston Mayor Joe Riley at the groundbreaking. Riley has been instrumental in raising funds and guiding the vision of the museum.

“We knew we had a duty to those we seek to honor,” he said. “They deserve a world-class museum, a place of excellence, and that is what they will have.”

The IAAM will be built on the shore of the Charleston Harbor at the Gadsden Wharf, where nearly half of all slaves entered North America during the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. The museum’s history will span a nearly 300-year period, from the Middle Passage through the Civil Rights Movement. In addition, A Center for Family History will enable visitors to trace their genealogy.

Coastal Community Foundation’s Lowcountry Unity Fund, which the Foundation created in the wake of the Emanuel AME tragedy to promote long-term solutions addressing systemic racism, has contributed $25,000 to the museum.

Other donations made to the museum through CCF include:


Robert A. Faith Family Fund

The Marva Smalls Endowment


CWD3 Fund

Pearlstine Family Fund


Jean and James Rion Endowment


Owen-McClinton Family Fund

Pringle-Read Endowment

Rotary Club of Charleston-Breakfast Endowed Fund

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