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We are thrilled to share that Dr. Elijah Heyward, III, who received his American Studies PhD in May of 2018, will now serve as chief operating officer of the International African American Museum.

As Dr. Heyward shared with us over email, “Months after the shooting at Mother Emanuel AME, I was invited to serve on a panel blocks away from the sanctuary in Charleston, South Carolina. The panel featured various community members who each shared their reaction to the tragedy. I spoke about my connection to Rev. Pinkney, who was a childhood hero. My fellow panelist, Mayor Joespe

h Riley shared a vision for a museum that would tell the story of Gadsen’s Wharf, where Professor Henry Lewis Gates asserts that forty-eight point one percent of enslaved Africans entered the United States.

“About a month ago, I found myself in Mayor Riley’s office discussing the very museum that captivated my imagination during our panel years ago. As a Beaufort, South Carolina native, the museum project has personal significance and affirms my passion for the power of cultural institutions to educate, inspire, and unite. The project also highlights the narratives of the Gullah/Geechee community who raised me. It is for all of these reasons and many more that I recently accepted an offer to serve as the International African American Museum’s chief operating officer.

“I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to an institution that has a great deal of personal and global significance. I look forward to sharing our journey with you.”

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Heyward on this terrific career milestone!‬

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