CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – A memorial to honor the nine church members killed during a hate crime attack at Mother Emanuel in 2015 has received a $500,000 donation from the Ford Foundation.
The funding will help the Mother Emanuel Memorial Foundation build social justice and anti-racism programs, including a racial equity curriculum for all ages and educational resources to bridge inequalities in communities.
As a part of its outreach programming, the Mother Emanuel Memorial Foundation announced additional plans to introduce its Luminary program, which designates supporters of the Emanuel Nine Memorial who will spread its mission through the advocacy of racial healing to various spheres of influence.
“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 Reverend Eric S.C. Manning, pastor of the Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church and co-chair of the Mother Emanuel Memorial Foundation.
The social justice initiatives will launch in 2021 and the Emanuel Nine Memorial will open in mid- to late 2022.
“We are proud to support the Emanuel Nine Memorial and pay tribute to the Mother Emanuel A.M.E. church members and Charleston community,” said Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation. “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.”
A spokesperson for the project says the design process, which is led by Michael Arad who previously designed the National September 11 Memorial, began by reframing the church grounds to create the space.
The memorial will have three components: The Memorial Courtyard, The Survivors’ Garden and Contemplation Basin.