TBC and its Owners Donate $1 Million to the Emanuel Nine Memorial
The Mother Emanuel Memorial Foundation Board, which manages the fundraising, construction, endowment and outreach for the Emanuel Nine Memorial, announced today The Beach Company, along with its owners, the Darby and Way families, have pledged $1 million to the memorial.
The Darby and Way families have been connected to the AME community for decades. After the 2015 tragedy, which occurred just blocks from The Beach Company’s corporate office, the company contacted church leaders offering their support, which led to the creation of a permanent memorial. This served as the catalyst for the creation of the Mother Emanuel Memorial Foundation and the foundation’s Board of Directors with John Darby, The Beach Company’s President and CEO, serving as co-chair of the Foundation.
“With the racial divide and violence in our country, the memorial offers a place for peace, prayer and unity for everyone,” said Darby. “The memorial design team put forth a tremendous effort to ensure the design of the memorial would honor the survivors, the nine souls who are no longer with us, the church and the City of Charleston.”
In the seven years since the tragedy, Darby and team members at The Beach Company have dedicated countless hours and resources, both personally and on behalf of the company, to create a memorial that speaks to the journey of forgiveness, justice and triumph of love over hate.
The Emanuel Nine Memorial honors the nine victims and five survivors of the June 17, 2015 tragedy, one of the largest racially motivated mass murder in recent American history. The memorial will be located on the grounds of the Mother Emanuel AME Church and will feature 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 will encircle a marble fountain where the names of the Emanuel Nine are carved around the fountain’s edge. Water will emanate from a cross-shaped source, filling the basin and gently spilling over the names of the nine lives lost. The opening between the benches toward the back of the courtyard will reveal a cross above a simple altar, providing visitors a quiet place to linger in thought and prayer.
The memorial will also include a survivors’ garden, which will be accessed by a pathway from the courtyard. Dedicated to life and resiliency, the garden will be surrounded by six stone benches and five trees, symbolizing the five survivors – the sixth signifying the church is also a survivor.
The Emanuel Nine Memorial is expected to break ground early 2023.
“I am truly thankful for the support and commitment that the Darby / Way families and The Beach Company have shown over the years, said Reverend Eric S.C. Manning, pastor for the Mother Emanuel AME Church and co-chair of the Mother Emanuel Memorial Foundation. “I am humbled and thankful for the recent financial contribution of a million dollars to the Mother Emanuel Memorial foundation. Their contribution will ensure that the memory of the Emanuel Nine will never be forgotten, 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 Beach Company joins Wells Fargo, Bank of America, the Ford Foundation, Boeing, The Spaulding-Paolozzi Foundation, The McNair Foundation, the State of South Carolina, the City of Charleston, the Charleston County, the City of North Charleston and many others in providing major contributions to the Memorial.
With a fundraising goal of $20 million to design and build the Emanuel Nine Memorial, and additional donations needed for maintenance and outreach programs, the Mother Emanuel Memorial Foundation relies on individual and corporate contributions that can be made online by visiting: www.emanuelnine.org/donate
“We have raised over $14 million so far,” Darby said. “I encourage South Carolina businesses to join us in reaching the $20 million milestone for this important memorial.”
The Mother Emanuel Memorial Foundation Board was established as an independent 501(c)(3) organization to support the mission of building the Emanuel Nine Memorial. Independent from any church operations, the Board solely manages the fundraising, construction, endowment and outreach for the Emanuel Nine Memorial.
About the Emanuel Nine Memorial Designer
After a nationwide search by a diverse selection committee, the Foundation selected Michael Arad as designer for the Emanuel Nine Memorial. Arad previously designed the National September 11 Memorial at the World Trade Center for the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. Arad’s inspiration for the memorial design is drawn from reflecting upon the lives and sacrifices of the Emanuel Nine: Reverend Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, Mrs. Cynthia Graham Hurd, Mrs. Susie J. Jackson, Mrs. Ethel Lee Lance, Reverend DePayne Middleton-Doctor, the Honorable Reverend Clementa Pinckney, Mr. Tywanza Kibwe Diop Sanders, Reverend Daniel Lee Simmons, Sr., and Mrs. Myra Singleton Quarles Thompson. The memorial design reflects the powerful and inspiring way in which the Emanuel Nine family members relied on the bedrock of their faith to reverse the spread of hate with a message of unyielding love and forgiveness.