CHARLESTON, S.C. – February 5, 2020 – Today, the Mother Emanuel Memorial Foundation Board announced Bank of America’s grant of $250,000 to construct a permanent memorial honoring the Emanuel Nine, the nine clergy and church members murdered in 2015 at the Mother Emanuel A.M.E Church in Charleston, South Carolina.
“Mother Emanuel AME Church is grateful that the business community is uniting in support of the Memorial Foundation and for Bank of America’s generous commitment to the creation of the Emanuel Nine Memorial,” said Reverend Eric S.C. Manning, pastor of the Mother Emanuel AME Church.
“We are honored to support this important memorial dedicated to remembering and honoring the lives and sacrifices of the clergy, church members and of the survivors,” said Mark Munn, Charleston Market President for Bank of America. “Our support aligns with the intention of the memorial itself to be a reflective space to join together in community, as well as to promote unity and resiliency. “
In July 2018, the Mother Emanuel Memorial Foundation revealed plans for the memorial to be located on the church grounds. The plans were designed by architect Michael Arad, who also created the National September 11 Memorial in New York City.
The memorial design features a courtyard with two fellowship benches facing each other with high backs that arc up and around like sheltering wings. At the center of the courtyard, the curves of the benches encircle a marble fountain where the names of the Emanuel Nine are carved around the fountain’s edge. Water emanates from a cross-shaped source, filling the basin and gently spilling over the names of the nine. The opening between the benches toward the back of the courtyard reveals a cross above a simple altar, providing visitors a quiet place to linger in thought and prayer.
The memorial includes a survivors’ garden, which is accessed by a pathway from the courtyard. Dedicated to life and resiliency, the garden is surrounded by six stone benches and five trees, symbolizing the five survivors – the sixth bench signifying that the church is also a survivor.
Tax-deductible donations for the Emanuel Nine Memorial can be made online by visiting: https://www.emanuelnine.org/#donate.
About the Mother Emanuel Memorial Foundation Board
The Mother Emanuel Memorial Foundation Board was established as a 501(c)(3) organization to support the mission of the Emanuel Nine Memorial by managing fundraising, construction, endowment and outreach. The Board is an independent community partnership consisting of local business leaders and elected officials as well as survivors of the tragedy and victims’ family members.
About Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church
The roots of Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church run deep in Charleston and its history is one of perseverance in the face of racial hostility. The church is affectionately called Mother Emanuel because it is the oldest AME church south of Baltimore. The congregation first formed in 1791, a coalition of free blacks and slaves. In 1822, the church was burned to the ground, after plans for a slave revolt were exposed. The congregation rebuilt the church and met there until 1834 – when all-black churches were outlawed by the state legislature. Undeterred, members continued to meet in secret until the end of the Civil War in 1865, when they formally reorganized. They adopted the name ‘Emanuel,’ meaning “God with us.” At the time, the church was a wooden two-story structure, and it was destroyed in an earthquake in 1886. Once again, it was rebuilt. During the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, it was a destination for many of the leaders, including Martin Luther King, Jr. Today, Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church is a fixture in Charleston. With seating for 1,200, it has the largest capacity of any African-American church in Charleston. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.
About Bank of America
At Bank of America, we’re guided by a common purpose to help make financial lives better, through the power of every connection. We’re delivering on this through responsible growth with a focus on our environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership. ESG is embedded across our eight lines of business and reflects how we help fuel the global economy, build trust and credibility, and represent a company that people want to work for, invest in and do business with. It’s demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our clients, and the impact we make around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships with nonprofits and advocacy groups, such as community, consumer and environmental organizations, to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact. Learn more at about.bankofamerica.com and connect with us on Twitter (@BofA_News).
Lou Hammond Group
Mother Emanuel Memorial Foundation Contact:
843-277-3093 (o) / 843-609-7433 (c)
Bank of America Contact:
Amy Murphy Curlis
704-331-1194 (o) / 704-936-8612 (c)