International African American Museum “on track” to break ground this summer, Mayor Riley says

Riley: "We are slightly less than $5 million away from our goal of $25 million."

Former Charleston mayor Joe Riley expressed hope that the International African American Museum will break ground this summer during the announcement of a $600,000 pledge by Bank of America at a press conference Friday afternoon.

“We are going to be working hard in the next few months in getting the rest of the money committed,” Riley said. “But we hope and believe that we’re on track to break ground this summer.”

The museum previously announced that First Citizens Bank donated $100,000 on Jan. 25. The new BOA donation brings the museum’s private fundraising goal to “slightly less than $5 million,” according to Riley, who sits on the museum’s board of directors and played an instrumental role in securing funding for the museum before the end of this 40-year mayorship in January 2016.

“Heritage isn’t just about history. It’s about people and their stories that shape who we are, tell where we’ve been and show where we’re going,” said Mark Munn, Charleston market president for Bank of America, in a statement released by the IAAM. “It’s why we’re proud to support the International African American Museum and committed to promoting diversity and inclusion within our company and in the communities we serve.”

Bank of America’s pledge is just $100,000 higher than that of self-made entrepreneur Carolyn Hunter, whose donation of $500,000 was announced late last year.

At Friday’s press conference, a logo for the IAAM emblazoned on the front of a lectern fell twice. Mayor Riley fixed the sign before his speech before addressing the blooper.

“Not that I’m all that fastidious, but it’s hard to make my remarks given that something has fallen on the floor,” he said.

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