Dominion Energy has pledged $2.5 million to support the International African American Museum’s (IAAM) design and construction. As one of the largest single donations to a nonprofit cause in the company’s history, it reflects Dominion Energy’s commitment to the people of South Carolina.
In addition to the $2.5 million donation, Dominion Energy has pledged $25,000 to provide 1,000 charter memberships to the museum for individuals and families served by the Charleston Promise Neighborhood, which provides educational programming to underserved students. These charter memberships will ensure access to the museum for residents that have traditionally encountered barriers to educational opportunities.
“We are fortunate to have Dominion Energy as a leader here in Charleston and across South Carolina,” said Joseph P. Riley, Jr., IAAM board member and former Charleston mayor. “Dominion Energy is holding true to its promise to expand meaningful corporate giving by providing substantial support to the museum and, in turn, broadening critical access to educational opportunities. Today, we thank Dominion Energy for helping to bring the longtime dream of the International African American Museum closer to reality.”
Dominion Energy’s leadership investment will be recognized in the South Carolina: Power of Place gallery. One of the museum’s most hands-on, interactive galleries, the exhibit will feature a Heritage Map, which is an interactive multimedia table featuring a large-scale map of South Carolina. Visitors can use the touchscreen installation to engage with the state’s history through highlighted people, events, sites, themes and landscapes – illustrating the power of place and of African American experiences.
“Education is one of Dominion Energy’s core focus areas, and we are excited that the International African American Museum will provide invaluable learning opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds,” Rodney Blevins, president and CEO of Dominion Energy’s Cayce-based Southeast Energy Group, said. “We are pleased to support this uniquely rich learning and cultural environment that features technology-driven, engaging experiences that can be enjoyed by many here locally as well as visitors from across the country and around the world.”
Michael Boulware Moore, IAAM president and CEO, said Dominion Energy’s $2.5 million leadership investment will give museum visitors a chance to examine African American history and culture through the lens of South Carolina.
“The South Carolina: Power of Place gallery is a prime example of the way that we can make history more personal, relatable and accessible by using regional stories to represent national and international narratives,” Moore said. “South Carolina featured a Black population majority by the early 1700s, and the influence of African Americans and their ancestors remains ubiquitous and robust in the state. That is what makes South Carolina’s past so rich and representative of African American history.”
Dominion Energy Chairman, President and CEO Thomas F. Farrell, II, said, “Our partnership with the International African American Museum illustrates Dominion Energy’s continued commitment to invest in philanthropic programs that foster an appreciation of cultural diversity and contribute to the vitality of the communities we serve. We look forward to sustaining our support of South Carolina through charitable giving and economic development as we provide safe, reliable energy with excellent customer service for years to come.”
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, 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.