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Ground is now broken on the International African American Museum (IAAM) in Charleston, South Carolina. The museum, set to open in 2021, will include a Center for Family History that will help African Americans connect with their ancestors.

Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, including Elder Terence M. Vinson of the Seventy and representatives of FamilySearch International, a nonprofit family history organization sponsored by the Church, joined more than 700 people at Friday’s groundbreaking.

“I stand on hallowed ground today,” said Thom Reed, deputy chief genealogical officer of African Heritage for FamilySearch International, who attended the event. “It is an honor to remember the sacrifice of the Africans who arrived through the Middle Passage in this location. We honor their legacy by breaking ground for the International African American Museum.”

In February, Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints presented a $2 million donation to the museum on behalf of the Church to help fund the Center for Family History.

“This museum will not just tell stories of the past of journeys concluded, but it will also enable the start of other journeys and new stories,” said Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, mayor of Freetown, Sierra Leone, West Africa, who spoke at the 90-minute groundbreaking.

To read the full report in the Church Newsroom, CLICK HERE.