RootsTech 2019 kicks off with announcement of $2 million donation from Church for new African American museum

SALT LAKE CITY — With thousands packed into the Salt Palace Convention Center, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints kicked off the ninth annual RootsTech family history and technology conference by announcing a $2 million donation to the forthcoming International African American Museum Center for Family History.

Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles presented the church's donation to Michael Boulware Moore, president and CEO of the museum. Martin Luther King III, son of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was on hand for the announcement.

"We want to support the museum and the Center for Family History because we both value the strength that comes from learning about our families," Elder Bednar said in a prepared statement. "The museum will not only educate its patrons on the important contributions of Africans who came through Gadsden’s Wharf and Charleston, it also will help all who visit to discover and connect with ancestors whose stories previously may not have been known."

Joseph P. Riley, a lifetime board member of the museum, thanked the church for helping the Center for Family History to become one of the museum's "crown jewels."

"Because of this generous donation from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the center will catapult into a level of excellence that simply would not be achievable,” said Riley in a news release.

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