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Ford Foundation donates $500,000 to Mother Emanuel Memorial

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The Emanuel Nine Memorial will include a courtyard with two benches, an altar and a marble fountain where the names of the nine victims will be carved. (Rendering/Handel Architects)The Ford Foundation has donated $500,000 to the Emanuel Nine Memorial, the Mother Emanuel Memorial Foundation board said in a news release.

The Mother Emanuel Foundation is a 501(c)3 designated organization in Charleston that focuses on memorializing the Emanuel Nine and creating educational outreach and social justice initiatives aimed at eradicating racism. The donation will help start those programs.

“The Mother Emanuel Memorial Foundation is extremely grateful for the Ford Foundation and looks forward to growing our partnership by working together to develop social justice programs to help build a more inclusive and equitable society,” said the Rev. Eric S.C. Manning, pastor of the Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church and co-chair of the Mother Emanuel Memorial Foundation.

The Mother Emanuel Memorial Foundation manages fundraising, construction and endowment outreach for the Emanuel Nine Memorial, which will open in mid to late 2022.

The permanent memorial will honor the nine people murdered at the Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston by a gunman in 2015. 

The design process is helmed by Michael Arad, who designed the National September 11 Memorial. The memorial will have three components: The Memorial Courtyard, The Survivors’ Garden and Contemplation Basin.

Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation, said he is proud to support the memorial and pay tribute to the church members and Charleston community.

“The Mother Emanuel Memorial Foundation is building an enduring legacy of hope, justice and resilience and we look forward to seeing how their work transforms our society in the years to come,” Walker said in a statement.

As part of its social justice initiatives, the foundation is working to create anti-racism and racial equity curriculum for all ages, gather and provide resources that will bridge inequities in communities, and advocate for equality and justice.

The social justice programs will launch in 2021.

For more than 80 years, the Ford Foundation, a nonprofit grand-making organization, has worked to create social change worldwide, be it strengthening democratic values, reducing poverty and injustice or promoting international cooperation.

“This generous grant from the Ford Foundation highlights the organization’s unparalleled support of programs bringing about social justice,” said John Darby, CEO of the Beach Co. and co-chair of the Mother Emanuel Memorial Foundation. “We are looking forward to working closely with the foundation to improve communities across the country for all Americans, starting right here in South Carolina.”

The Mother Emanuel Memorial Foundation set a fundraising goal of $17.5 million to design, build, maintain and protect the memorial.

Reach Teri Errico Griffis at 843-849-3144.

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