Meet Elijah, Chief Operating Officer of the soon-to-open International African American Museum in Charleston, SC.
Elijah is a graduate of Yale Divinity School and the recipient of the Yale President’s Public Service fellowship. As a Yale President’s Public Service Fellow, he used his fellowship funds to conceptualize and establish the Youth Scholar Academy, an access program that prepared young men from under-resourced communities for success in high school, college, and career.
A a native of Beaufort, South Carolina, Elijah attended Hampton University where he and his friends founded the Biggest' Circle to encourage student engagement with the Hampton University Museum, which also introduced Heyward and his peers to the archival side of the museum. This is the place where Heyward discovered the research papers of the Penn School, established in South Carolina in 1862 for newly emancipated African slaves. Elijah earned his Ph.D. in American Studies from UNC-Chapel Hill where he curated the show “Beyond Walls: Designs for 20th Century Murals at the Ackland Art Museum” and contributed to a traveling exhibition focused on the work of artist Ronald Lockett.