Former Charleston mayor reducing duties on International African American Museum Board

Former Charleston Mayor Joe Riley is transitioning to a lifetime membership on the...
Former Charleston Mayor Joe Riley is transitioning to a lifetime membership on the International African American Museum's member of the board of directors, which will allow him to step down from committee duties but to participate on an at-will, as-needed basis, museum officials said.
Published: Apr. 28, 2022 at 5:22 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The International African American Museum is praising former Charleston Mayor Joe Riley as it announced he is limiting his duties after decades of commitment to the facility.

Museum spokesperson Marco Corona said Riley is shifting to a lifetime membership on the board of directors, but not leaving the board.

“This is a specific board member status associated with this period of founding and creation of the museum,” Corona said. “It is an official board member designation, but does allow for stepping down from committee duties and participating on an at-will, as-needed basis.”

In a statement, the museum said it is “incredibly grateful” to Riley:

No one has been closer to or more committed to this project than he. From a powerful, inspiring announcement in a state-of-the-city address in 2000 to thousands of hours meeting with individuals—knocking on doors, telling the stories that have rarely been told and often overlooked—Riley has been passionately and unassailably committed to the creation of this museum.

In a farewell statement, Riley thanked those who have been involved in the decades-long path in the museum’s creation and declared his support for the museum, its leadership and the community of staff and volunteers that will bring it to life.

“Though I’ve only had the pleasure of working with former Mayor Riley for a year, I have felt his impact and the full weight of his dream for and commitment to this institution,” IAAM President and CEO Dr. Tonya Matthews said. “As I have said before, stewarding this museum forward is a weighty privilege and I am grateful to have had him as a guide.”

Riley’s announcement comes as museum officials said the facility is “mere months” away from opening.

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