Our Mission

The Second Founding of America: Reconstruction Beaufort, is an expansive national collaboration of scholars, educators, public officials, visual and performing artists and community leaders whose common purpose is to uncover and teach the untold stories, and correct the mistold stories, of the Reconstruction Era during and the following the Civil War.


Through collaborative efforts with the National Park Service and other Reconstruction related initiatives, it is a work of extraordinary scale but one that promises fresh insights into American History that can give us a greater understanding of our past and our present so we can create a better future by fulfilling the yet to be achieved promises of freedom, equality and justice for all.

Ongoing Initiatives 2020-2021


I. "Friend of the Reconstruction Era National Historical Park & Network”  - - soliciting funds for specific projects, restoring additional physical sites to be included, organizing events, public forums, recruiting volunteers, establishing virtual tours and generating other means of support.


II. “The Reconstruction Educators Network” -- recruiting, providing professional development training, networking opportunities for teachers, creating and sustaining a resource center (“Teaching Reconstruction” website) for featuring primary and secondary resources, lesson plans, student projects, scholarly works and other resources helpful to classroom teachers.    


III. “Finding and Sharing Common Ground” – Grassroots campaign, that identifies untold stories, leverages stories of Reconstruction and the Reconstruction Era National Historical Park & Network into community conversations about diversity, equality and justice and an end to racism in America while encouraging policy makers to integrate Reconstruction History history taught in our schools.

Our Advisors

Dr. Randy L. Akers | Executive Director, SC Humanities

Ms. Andrea Allen | Community Leader

Mr. Michael Allen | Retired National Park Service, Reconstruction Era Specialist 

Mrs. LaTanya Allen | SES Program Manager, Supplemental Education Service Provider; Certified Facilitator, Carolina Youth Development Center; Behavioral Therapist

Mr. Allard Allston, III | Former Partner, Motley Rice LLC

Mr. James P Atkins | President, Beaufort Flight Training Corp and Member, Sons of Confederate Veterans

Hon. Bruce Babbitt | Former Secretary, United States Department of Interior

Ms. Marie Banac | Branch Manager, St. Helena Branch Library, South Carolina

Mr. Jack Bass | Author & Journalist, The College of Charleston

Hon. Stephen K. Benjamin | Mayor Columbia, South Carolina 

Dr. David Blight | Professor of American History;Director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition, Yale University

Bishop Dr. Jack Bomar | New Thought Unity Church

Ms. Bridgit Brown | Director of Operations, Join for Justice, Boston, Massachusetts

Prof. W. Lewis Burke | Professor Emeritus, University of South Carolina Law School

Dr. Vernon Burton |  Professor of History, Clemson University

Dr. Emory Shaw Campbell | Gullah Historian & Author, President of Gullah Heritage Consulting Services

Mr. Kwadjo Campbell | President and CEO, Jeffers-Campbell Associates

Ms. Barbara Catenacci | Executive Director, Heritage Foundation

Ms. Christy Coleman | CEO, American Civil War Museum

Dr. Eric Crawford | Musicologist, Professor, Coastal Carolina University

Councilman Phil Cromer | Councilman, Beaufort City 

Councilman Gerald Dawson | Councilman, Beaufort County 

Mayor Joe Devito | Mayor, Town of Port Royal

Dr. Bobby Donaldson | Professor of History, University of South Carolina; Director Center Rights Research & History

Ms. Vernita Dore | Former Undersecretary, EDA, US Department of Agriculture

Dr. Gregory Downs | Associate Professor of History, University of California-Davis; Co-Author "NPS Theme Study on Reconstruction"

Rep. Shannon Erickson | Representative, South Carolina House of Representatives

Mr. Amiri Farris | Artist

Mr. Michael Fernandez | Strategic Communication Consultant

Jamie Fleming | Founder, 1212 Design LLC

Dr. Eric Foner | Dewitt Clinton Professor Emeritus of History, Columbia University, specializes in the Civil War & Reconstruction

Prof. Damon L. Fordham | Adjunct Professor, The Citadel

Mr. Rex Garniewicz | President & CEO, Coastal Discovery Museum 

Dr. Henry Louis Gates | Alphonse Fletcher University Professor & Director Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, Harvard University

Dr. Grant Gilmore | Director, Historic Preservation and Community Planning; College of Charleston

Mr. Darrin Goss | President, Coastal Community Foundation

Mr. Johnathan Green | Artist & Educator

Mr. David Grim | Author, Reconstruction History Novels

Ms. Bonnie Hargrove | Director, University of South Carolina-Beaufort Center for the Arts; Member of City of Beaufort Cultural Commission

Dr. Bobby Harley | Executive Director, South Carolina African American Heritage Foundation

Ms. Jannie Harriot | Chairperson, African American Heritage Commission

Dr. William C. Hine | Retired Professor, SC State University

Ms. Heather L. Hodges | Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor 

Rev. Kenneth F. Hodges | Pastor, Tabernacle Baptist Church; former Representative SC House of Representatives

Ms. Barbara G. Holmes | Attorney, Land Protection

Ms. Carole Ingram | Ret. Principal, Beaufort Middle School

Mr. Al Jenkins | Regional Director, Office of Senator Tim Scott

Mr. Nathan Jenkinson III | Attorney, Jenkinson Jarrett and Kellahan P.A.

Dr. Faye Jensen | Executive Director, SC Historical Society

Mr. Juan Johnson | Consultant, Riley Diversity Leadership Institute, Furman University

Mr. Nathan Johnson | Park Manager, South Carolina Department of Parks Recreation and Tourism

Hon. Billy Keyserling | Former Mayor, City of Beaufort, South Carolina

Ms. Kaylan Koszela | Director of Community Outreach, Office of Former Congressman Joe Cunningham





Ms. Elisabeth Laney | Park Interpreter, South Carolina Department of Parks Recreation and tourism

Ms. Carol Lauvray | Member, Beaufort History Museum 

Dr. Bob Lefavi | Dean, University of South Carolina-Beaufort

Dr. Dan Littlefield | Professor of History, University of South Carolina; Author of Publications on Reconstruction Era and Slavery

Dr. Valinda Littlefield | Professor, History and African American Studies, University of South Carolina

Ms. Maxine Lutz | Former Executive Director, Historic Beaufort Foundation

Dr. Kate Masur | Associate Professor of History, Northwestern University; Co-Author of “NPS Theme Study on Reconstruction;” Published works on Civil War Black Politics

Dr. John McCardell | Vice Chancellor, University of the South, Sewanee  

Mr. Joseph McGill Jr. | Founder, Slave Dwelling Project

Dr. Mae Mendoza | President, Beaufort County Historical Society

Dr. Page Putnam-Miller | Retired Professor of History, University of South Carolina

Gen. Mitch Mitchell | Retired, General United States Air Force, Beaufort City Councilman

Mr. Richard Moe | Former President, National Trust for Historic Preservation

Mr. Michael Bouleware Moore | Great grandson Congressman Robert Smalls 

Dr. J. Brent Morris | Department Chairperson and Professor of History & National Endowment of the Humanities Teachers Institute; Beaufort Reconstruction Institute, University of South Carolina-Beaufort 

Hon. Samuel Murray | Former Mayor, Town of Port Royal, South Carolina

Rev. Abraham Murray | Pastor, Brick Baptist Church

Mr. Jeremy Nesoff | Associate Director, Facing History and Ourselves

Dr. C.G. Newsome | Former President, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

Mr. Brian O'Donnell | Former Director, Conservation Lands Foundation

Mr. John Parsons | Retired, National Park Service

Dr. Bernard Powers | Professor Emeritus, Center for the Study of Slavery, College of Charleston, Interim CEO and President IAAM

Ms. Anita Singleton-Prather | CEO and Executive Director at Gullah Travelling Theatre, Inc  

Queen Quet Marquetta L. Goodwine | Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation 

Ms. Marianne Rice | Musicologist, Storyteller, Author

Mr. Allen Robertson | Executive Director, South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum

Ms. Alvesta W. Robertson | Vice President and Librarian, Mather School Alumni Association

Dr. Chris Robinson | Professor of Art, Department Chair, Department Fine Arts, Studio Art, University of South Carolina-Beaufort

Councilman Stu Rodman | Beaufort County Council

Dr. Lawrence Rowland | Professor Emeritus, University of South Carolina-Beaufort

Mr. Bakari Sellers | Attorney and Political Commentator

Dr. Cleveland Sellers | Professor, Department of History, University of South Carolina

Mr. Jeff Shawd | President, Beaufort Arts Council

Dr. Marlena Smalls | Founder and Director Hallelujah Singers; Educator

Councilman Paul Sommerville | Vice Chairperson, Beaufort County Council

Ms. Denise Spencer | Former President and CEO, Community Foundation of the Lowcountry

Hon. Lisa Sulka | Mayor, Town of Bluffton, South Carolina

Dr. Althea Sumpter | Independent Scholar

Ms. Lise Sundrla | Historic Beaufort Foundation

Hon. John Tecklenburg | Mayor, City of Charleston, South Carolina

Mr. Dalton Tresvant | Regional Director, Office of Jim Clyburn

Mr. John Wallin | Deputy Director, Conservation Lands Foundation

Mr. Ahmad Ward  |  Executive Director, Mitchelville Preservation Project

Rev. Elijah Washington | Director, Grand Army Hall of the Republic

Mr. Robb Wells | President and CEO, Beaufort-Port Royal Visitors and Convention Bureau

Mr. Donald West | Director, 54 Massachusetts Colored Troops Reenactors, Trident College

Dr. Eric C. Williams | Curator of Religion, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

Dr. Stephen Wise | Museum Curator, Parris island Museum, History Professor

Dr. Jim Wooten | Ret. Pastor, Baptist Church of Beaufort

Ms. Joyce Wright | Chairperson, Mitchelville Preservation Project