Month: May 2015

Louis Bacon donates $1.5m to support African American History

The Moore Charitable Foundation Pledges $1.5 Million to the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

The Donation Will Support “The Power of Place” Exhibition

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture received a $1.5 million donation from Louis Moore Bacon’s Moore Charitable Foundation. The museum is expected to open in fall 2016. The gift will directly support “The Power of Place,” one of the museum’s inaugural exhibitions, a portion of which explores the origin of rice cultivation along the southeastern seaboard of the United States.

“The power of place is an important theme in the history and culture of African Americans, and we are proud to have the support of the Moore Charitable Foundation as we come closer to completing our home on the National Mall,” said Lonnie G. Bunch III, founding director of the museum. “This donation builds momentum and adds a new level of anticipation as we seek to tell America’s story through the lens of the African American experience.”

The exhibit about the rice fields of South Carolina’s low country will be located within “The Power of Place” exhibition. Enslaved Africans and African Americans cultivated rice along the southeastern seaboard of the United State for hundreds of years. The transformation of the landscape along this coast is a story of great creativity and cruel coercion, in which the culture, knowledge and skills that enslaved people brought with them from Africa played formative roles. The reverberations of this process continue to shape the region’s environment, culture and social life.

“It is crucial to preserve the stories of the rice fields of the low country because they hold important lessons for today,” said Louis Moore Bacon, founder and chairman of the Moore Charitable Foundation. “We hope this exhibition will encourage people of all ages to learn about the significance of these places and value our shared history.”

Bacon is a direct descendent of Roger Moore, the original 18th-century owner of Orton Plantation, the northernmost rice plantation in the low country. As the owner of Orton Plantation Holdings, Bacon is the driving force behind efforts to re-establish heirloom agricultural production on those lands. Orton Plantation Holdings purchased the plantation home and tracts of surrounding forest in November 2010, and Bacon soon initiated environmental restoration and historical preservation efforts.

Many acres of rice fields have been lost over the years due to storm erosion and wave action from ships, but ongoing work to renew Orton’s fields will preserve the historic use of the land and maintain a key link to America’s past. Recent archaeological excavation efforts at Orton Plantation revealed for the first time the remains of the lost Kendal Plantation, a site originally founded in the 1720s by Roger Moore. The site is also a testament to the heartache, sacrifice and accomplishment of all enslaved African Americans.

About the Museum

The National Museum of African American History and Culture was established by an Act of Congress through legislation signed into law in 2003 by President George W. Bush. Scheduled to open in 2016, the museum is under construction on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on a five-acre tract adjacent to the Washington Monument. Upon completion, NMAAHC will become the nation’s largest and most comprehensive cultural institution devoted exclusively to exploring and documenting the African American story and its impact on American history. For more information, visit the museum’s website at nmaahc.si.edu.

About the More Charitable Foundation

Louis Bacon is the chairman of the Moore Charitable Foundation Inc. (MCF) and its affiliate foundations. Founded by Bacon in 1992, MCF supports conservation nonprofits that focus on protecting threatened landscapes, habitats and water bodies. MCF also supports educational and community programs in specific geographic priority areas.

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BREEF hires new environmental educator with a grant from The Moore Bahamas Foundation

“The Bahamas Reef Environment Educational Foundation (BREEF) announced April 23 a grant from The Moore Bahamas Foundation (MBF) to hire Ms Chantal Curtis as its new Environmental Educator. Her combined experiences in teaching and forensic science make her a valuable asset to the BREEF team as it seeks to expand citizen science leadership in its coastal field studies and underwater activities.

The latest staff expansion comes as BREEF continues to successfully lead local marine conservation efforts around The Bahamas. BREEF’s education initiatives provide public and private school children with hands-on opportunities to learn about the Bahamian marine environment. The new environmental educator position and many ongoing education programmes are made possible by grants from MBF, local affiliate of The Moore Charitable Foundation founded by Louis Bacon in 1992.

“BREEF is proud to add a uniquely qualified environmental educator to work with the thousands of children participating in our field trips to marine and coastal ecosystems, thanks to the continued commitment from our long-standing partner, The Moore Bahamas Foundation,” said Casuarina McKinney-Lambert, Executive Director of Bahamas Reef Environment Educational Foundation. “We continue to realize our mission by providing students of different ages and backgrounds the opportunity to learn more about why marine conservation is important and to see how we can work together for positive change.”

Efforts to educate future generations about the vital Bahamian marine environment range from summer sea camps, with activities such as snorkeling, to outreach and education about sharks in The Bahamas, to virtual coral reef field trips. Additionally, BREEF’s marine conservation workshops have trained over 700 teachers from islands across The Bahamas. These educators are now back in their classrooms sharing what they learned with their students and colleagues.

Louis Bacon, Founder of The Moore Charitable Foundation. (Photo by Yann Dandois)Throughout the year, BREEF offers classroom presentations and field trips for school groups to enhance instruction of marine conservation topics now included in national curricula. In 2014, BREEF programs allowed over 2,000 of students to experience the marine environment of The Bahamas. As demand for field trips has increased in recent years, support from The Moore Bahamas Foundation has allowed more students to enjoy this opportunity annually.

“The high demand for BREEF field trips highlights the fact that Bahamian students care about their environment and they value experiences that create an emotional connection to the water, plants and wildlife around them,” said Ann Colley, Executive Director and Vice President of The Moore Bahamas Foundation. “We are grateful for the opportunity to work with BREEF and support these one-of-a-kind learning experiences for the children of The Bahamas, and we know that Chantal Curtis will be a vital part of this good work.”

The hands-on learning approach that BREEF emphasizes is also showcased through the Bahamas Environmental Steward (BES) Scholars youth mentorship programme. In collaboration with The Cape Eleuthera Island School, BREEF provides BES Scholars with the unique opportunity to become involved in marine research, including shark and turtle tagging activities.

In recent years BREEF has been able to expand and enhance its marine science and field studies programmes, while also diversifying options for students at both public and private schools. In 2009, BREEF launched the Eco-Schools (Bahamas) Programme. Eco-Schools is the largest sustainable schools programme in the world, operating in over 55 countries.

The Moore Bahamas Foundation and BREEF’s successful partnership began in 2000, and most recently, MBF commended BREEF’s campaign that helped influence new legislation that ensures a fixed closed fishing season for the endangered Nassau grouper.

BREEF Eco-Summit, 70 young environmental leaders learning and sharing about conservation.“When we see the joy and wonder on the faces of the students in our programmes, we know that we are doing meaningful work for the future of The Bahamas and our precious waters,” McKinney-Lambert said. “We are excited to welcome Ms Curtis to BREEF and we look forward to expanding our education efforts and continuing to promote the much needed conservation of our Bahamian marine environment.”

Chantal Curtis will be coordinating and implementing coastal field trips to Jaws Beach, Bonefish pond and other key places around the island as part of ongoing National Coastal Awareness Month activities. She will also collaborate with Dr Demian Chapman and Mr Mark Bond for shark education in May. Chantal first got involved with BREEF as a Teacher Training Workshop participant in 2014.

This summer, the BREEF team will be particularly busy with summer sea camps on New Providence, Eleuthera, and San Salvador, and with a Marine Conservation Teacher Training Workshop on San Salvador.”

Source: http://www.bahamaislandsinfo.com