The mission of the International African American Museum (IAAM) is to honor the untold stories of the African American journey at one of our nation’s most sacred sites – Gadsden’s Wharf in Charleston, SC – where more than 40% of enslaved Africans arrived in America. The wharf, which was originally built in 1767, is now home to the museum, which is projected to open in 2022. 

The opening of the museum in 2022 will be a profound event for the State of South Carolina and the nation as a whole. In consideration of the countless amounts of resources, time, and energy devoted to making the dream of the museum a reality, our DLI Capstone team focused on raising awareness of, and engagement with, the IAAM in the Upstate. We, therefore, identified and promoted December 6, the 156th anniversary of the abolishment of slavery via ratification of the 13th Amendment, as “IAAM Upstate Day.”  

A proclamation of “IAAM Upstate Day” was issued by the City of Greenville for December 6, 2021, and Mayor Knox White, Dr. Tonya Matthews (President and CEO, IAAM), Richard W. Riley (Former U.S. Secretary of Education and Governor for South Carolina), William Timmons (U.S. Representative), Chandra Dillard (South Carolina House of Representatives), Lillian Brock Flemming (Greenville City Council), and other dignitaries and invited guests joined our DLI Capstone team in delivering a celebratory event highlighting the IAAM and its many programmatic initiatives, educational and cultural resources, and memorial structures on the sacred grounds of the Museum site. It is our sincere hope that new and enduring connections between the IAAM and citizens of the Upstate have been created through this awareness event, and we look toward the 2022 opening of the IAAM with great anticipation.