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Our Mission

Second Founding of America: Reconstruction Era, 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 mis-told 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
Hon. Stephen K. Benjamin | Former 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
Ms. Barbara Catenacci | Executive Director, Heritage Foundation
Ms. Christy Coleman | CEO, American Civil War Museum
Dr. Eric Crawford | Musicologist, Professor, University of South Carolina
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
Mr. Herman Gaither | Retired Superintendent of Beaufort County School District
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 | Former Chairperson, African American Heritage Commission
Dr. Darlene Hine | Michigan State University
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. 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. Elisabeth Laney | Park Interpreter, South Carolina Department of Parks Recreation and tourism

Dr. Bob Lefavi | 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 | Former 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 | Clemson University
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
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. Alvesta W. Robertson | Vice President and Librarian, Mather School Alumni Association
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
Dr. Marlena Smalls | Founder and Director Hallelujah Singers; Educator
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 Reenac
tors, 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







Community Council

Mr. Carson Banks | Business Owner
Mrs. Ezhan Joyce-Bush | Community Advocate
Mr. Mannie Byas | Community Advocate
Pastor Michael Coxwell | Pastor, Meadowbrook Church
Mrs. Laraine Fess | Director of Theatre, Beaufort High School
Mr. Artrell Horne | Environmental Crimes Officer for Beaufort County Government
Ms. Latoshia Middleton | Director, School Counselors (BCSD)
Ms. Margo Middleton | Community Advocate
Mr. Jason Wilson | Investigator

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