Celebrating the AAMI’s Reopening!

Welcome back to the newly renovated African American Museum of Iowa!

This day has been a long time in the making and the beginning of a new chapter in the Museum’s statewide vision to ensure all Iowans have access to our full history. Like I have been throughout this entire journey, I am overwhelmed by the outpouring of support leading up to our reopening and the temporary exhibit that explores the Museum’s history and thirty years of original exhibit themes that have served to educate and evoke engagement, conversation, and reflection. 

This has been a team effort. We’ve come this far because of our dedicated and passionate team of professionals. Thank you to our statewide board of directors who are steadfast servant leaders and ambassadors of our mission and vision.  I especially want to recognize two phenomenal leaders, Mrs. Nancy Humbles, our immediate past president and Abena Sankofo Imhotep, our current board president. Thank you to our campaign steering and building committees for ensuring the integrity of the process. 

Of course, we wouldn’t be standing here in this transformed space without the trust and financial support of key stakeholders like the City of Cedar Rapids – for ensuring our safety (and that of the entire city) in the event of future flood waters – the Iowa Economic Development Authority, Hall Perrine Foundation, Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust, Linn County, TransAmerica, United Fire Group, and so many more organizations and individuals. Thank you for believing in our mission and understanding that the impact the Museum continues to have in communities across our state is necessary and unmatched. 

Thank you to our elected officials who have been advocates of the Museum, and for your efforts to bring about positive change in our cities and our state! I’d like to thank the fantastic teams of our general contractor Point Builders and Solum Lang Architects. We absolutely love our new building – inside and out!

Finally, and most importantly, thank you to the Museum founders, James Clark, Johnny Brown, Bebe Davis, Thomas Levi, Tom Moore, and Marvin Steward. Because of their vision more than 30 years ago, we are here today!

We look forward to seeing you, back at the AAMI!


LaNisha Cassell

AAMI Executive Director