The International African American Museum announced the addition of six new Board members. These six individuals join an already noteworthy board featuring prominent leaders and activists from across the nation.
The new board members include Bishop Claude Alexander, Dr. Tamara Butler, Dr. Emory Campbell, Anna Glass, Lenard Larry McKelvey (Charlamagne Tha God), and Carolyn Murray.
These new members are joining a group of individuals who are specifically dedicated to upholding the Museum’s mission—to honor the untold stories of the African American journey at one of the country’s most sacred sites.
Among the new Board members is Tamara T. Butler, who is the Executive Director of the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture and Associate Dean in the College of Charleston Libraries. Dr. Butler’s research connected to community engagement, Black women’s storytelling, and Black girlhood can be found in several education journals and edited collections, including Race, Justice and Activism in Literacy Education.
“I look forward to us creating and upholding a collective code of ethics that will inform our institutional and interpersonal relationships,” said Butler. “For example, as the executive director of the Avery Research Center at the College of Charleston, I want such an ethics to inform how we work together, discuss collections, attain resources, and develop programming.”
Pastor Claude Alexander Jr. He serves as Senior Pastor of University Park Baptist Church (“The Park”) in Charlotte, N.C. The Museum partnered with The Park Ministries with their R400 Summit Conference “Building a Thriving Pan-African Future” in September 2019. The Museum now looks forward to working with Pastor Alexander again, but as a member of the Board.
For other new members, being a part of the board is personal:
“I was born in Charleston. I am a Roper Hospital baby, raised in Moncks Corner, S.C. The love I have for the state of South Carolina, Charleston, and The Lowcountry, in general, can’t really be put into words even though I have tried in my New York Times Best Seller #BlackPrivilege,” said Lenard Larry McKelvey (Charlamagne tha God), radio presenter, TV personality, social media influencer, and author.
“That’s not a shameless plug either; it’s just that I look at that book as a love letter to South Carolina because my upbringing in the 843 made me into the man that I am today. To be a part of such a special project, a project that is helping us tell the story of our city and state just feels like I’m a part of making history.”
The remaining members, Dr. Emory Campbell, Anna Glass, and Carolyn Murray all share a similar excitement and unique tie to The Lowcountry. Dr. Campbell is a native South Carolinian, cultural heritage consultant, and author (particularly on Gullah culture). Glass has familial ties to South Carolina as well and currently serves as the Executive Director of the Dance Theatre of Harlem in New York. Murray serves as a Charleston news anchor on WCBD-TV and the Lowcountry CW Network. Although Carolyn was born in New York City, she says, “saltwater runs through my veins.”
“[Carolyn] has always had a love for the building of the Museum and certainly supports and advocates for the International African American Museum personally and professionally,” said Rev. DeMett Jenkins, the Museum’s Director of Faith Based Education and Engagement.