CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The Mother Emanuel Memorial Foundation Board has accepted a $2 million donation from the City of Charleston. The grant will go towards the construction funding of the Emanuel Nine Memorial, in addition to creating more social justice programs to end racism.
The nine victims and five survivors of the June 17, 2015 massacre are honored by the memorial. The memorial is planned to be placed on the Mother Emanuel Church property.
Reverend Eric S.C. Manning, pastor of the Mother Emanuel Church, also serves as co-chair of the Mother Emanuel Memorial Foundation.
“Their contribution will ensure that the memory of the Emanuel Nine will never be forgotten,” says Manning. “The resilience and strength of the survivors will continue to be celebrated, and the messages of forgiveness, love and grace will draw all people together.”
The memorial will include a courtyard with two large benches shaped like sheltering wings. There will also be a fountain at the center of the courtyard with names of the Emanuel Nine engraved around the edge.
A survivor’s garden will also be featured, which can be accessed from the courtyard. The garden will include six stone benches and five trees that honors the five survivors and the church.
“The City of Charleston is honored to make this contribution to the Emanuel Nine Memorial fund,” says Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg. “This project will stand not only as a memorial to the victims of this horrific tragedy, but as a daily call to action for all our citizens.”
The foundation’s social justice programs will start this year, and the memorial is scheduled to open in mid to late 2022.
“Let this memorial be our morning and a beacon of love, peace and understanding for the world,” says William Dudley Gregorie, Charleston City Council Member.
With a $17.5 million foundation goal, groundbreaking is expected to begin fall 2021.