Emanuel AME Church Announces Renowned Designer

Michael Arad to Create Memorial to Honor Victims

Memorial fund established by Charleston business to facilitate donations

CHARLESTON, S.C. June 17, 2017 – Today Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church (EAMEC) announced that Michael Arad, partner at Handel Architects of New York, NY, has been selected to create a permanent memorial at the church to honor the nine victims of the June 17, 2015 tragedy, the survivors, and members of the church. Arad is best known for designing the National September 11 Memorial in New York City.

Plans for the memorial began in July of 2015 when The Beach Company, a five-generation family-owned Charleston company founded in 1945, approached Reverend Dr. Norvel Goff, Sr., presiding elder of the Edisto District of the AME Church, for his blessing to create a memorial fund and a community partnership with the church. The project is guided by an executive committee comprised of Mother Emanuel leadership and community leaders. A design build committee of local art, design and history professionals was also established to create a collaborative vision for the memorial.

“This memorial on the grounds of the church will help keep the memory of the Emanuel 9 alive and honor the resilience of the families, survivors and church members,” said Reverend Eric S.C. Manning, pastor of Mother Emanuel.

The fund was established via The Matching Fund, a 501(c)(3) organization in Charleston, SC, to enable contributions from the community to go toward the memorial. Tax-deductible donations can be made to the memorial fund online, by visiting http://bit.ly/2rsVxL3. Donations by check may be sent to “Mother Emanuel Memorial Foundationc/o Emanuel AME Church, 110 Calhoun St, Charleston, SC 29401.

“The victims of the Emanuel AME Church shooting will not be forgotten,” said John Darby, CEO of The Beach Company. “Their families’ and the church’s response to this tragic event has already materially changed the conversation about racism. They put faith and love above hatred, and the message inspired people across the globe. We are here to support their mission working side by side to help facilitate a memorial to promote the eradication of racism.”

L-R: John Darby (Beach Company), Rev. Eric SC Manning (Emanuel AME Church), Michael Arad (Handel Architects)

Michael Arad is an Israeli-American architect who was chosen from more than 5,000 applicants to design the National September 11 Memorial at the World Trade Center location in 2003. “Michael Arad’s design for the September 11 Memorial expresses both the devastating loss of life, while also expressing peace, comfort and hope,” said Reverend Manning. “His ability to symbolize these conflicting feelings to create a very moving memorial was a compelling qualification for the task of the Emanuel AME Memorial. It is our hope that his work on our memorial will evoke the weight of the tragedy as well as send an inspiring mandate for positive change to the world.”

The church also announced the start of its capital campaign, established to address much-needed repairs and improvements to the 126-year-old church building. Donations to the capital campaign may be made payable to the “Mother Emanuel AMEC Historical Foundation” and mailed to the church at 110 Calhoun Street, Charleston, SC 29401.

For more information on Mother Emanuel AME Church, visit http://www.emanuelamechurch.org/.

Editor’s Note: For a high-res photo of Mother Emanuel AME Church, visit: http://bit.ly/2remr6g.

About Emanuel AME Church

The roots of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church (EAMEC) 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, they 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 stop for many of the leaders, including Martin Luther King, Jr. Today, 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 Michael Arad

Michael Arad’s design for the National September 11 Memorial at the World Trade Center site, titled “Reflecting Absence,” was selected by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation from among more than 5,000 entries submitted in an international competition held in 2003. The project was realized with landscape architect Peter Walker, and the support of the architectural firm Davis Brody Bond, LLP. Arad joined Handel Architects as a Partner in 2004 where he worked on realizing the Memorial design as a member of the firm. A native of Israel, Arad was raised there, in the United Kingdom, in the United States and in Mexico. In 2006, Arad was one of six recipients of the Young Architects Award of the American Institute of Architects. In 2012, he was awarded the AIA Presidential Citation for his work on the National September 11 Memorial. In addition, he was also honored in 2012 by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council with the Liberty Award for Artistic Leadership. In 2013, his work on the Memorial was recognized with Honor Awards from the AIA and ASLA.

 About The Beach Company

Founded in 1945, The Beach Company has been a leader in residential and commercial real estate brokerage, development and property management for over 70 years. The Beach Company upholds a tradition of establishing landmark properties and communities by evaluating each development opportunity for its potential to improve the quality of life for our neighbors, and contribute to the long-term economic vitality of the Southeast region. Supporters of the philanthropic community in Charleston for five generations, the Darby and Way families owners of The Beach Company encourage nonprofits to grow and become sustainable through their mission of supporting organizations aligned with promoting citizenship, youth and education, arts and culture and community philanthropy in Charleston.

 Media Contact:

Lou Hammond Group
Hannah Nuccio
843.410.5306
hannahn@louhammond.com