International African American Museum breaks ground with support from CCF donors


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. We must establish a shared understanding of our past if we want to eliminate the racial inequities that exist today.
Darrin Gross, CEO and President of CFF

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

Related Story

September 13, 2023
Coastal Community Foundation, Affiliates Partner to Abolish More Than $4 Million in Local Medical Debt
Coastal Community Foundation and its affiliate organizations, Waccamaw Community Foundation, Frances P. Bunnelle Foundation, and the Jewish Endowment Foundation of…
Continue Reading Coastal Community Foundation, Affiliates Partner to Abolish More Than $4 Million in Local Medical Debt
September 6, 2023
Coastal Community Foundation Receives $250K Grant from Boeing
Boeing recently awarded a $250,000 grant to Coastal Community Foundation (CCF) for affordable housing and economic mobility projects. The funding…
Continue Reading Coastal Community Foundation Receives $250K Grant from Boeing
Help provide immediate relief and support to our coastal communities through our Lowcountry Disaster Response Fund.Donate