Building the Vision: The Center’s Expansion

Building the Vision: Center Expansion

The National Center for Civil and Human Rights works to create a more just and equitable society through dynamic and empathy-building experiences, teaching history’s connection to the present, and inspiring the change-maker in each of us. 

Founded in 2014, The Center is currently in the midst of a critical physical and programmatic expansion which will enable us to grow from a local Atlanta attraction to a national cultural institution that serves as a dynamic education, training, conference, and performance hub dedicated to advancing human dignity, rights, and justice.

Building the Vision Campaign

We launched the Building the Vision Campaign in 2021 to fulfill our original idea to create an immersive space that builds empathy, generates brave conversations, and inspires people to protect civil and human rights. Through our physical and programmatic expansion, we will engage our audience more deeply and in a range of news ways, transforming our Center into a national institution.

The Center was built for these tumultuous times. In this moment, we are uniquely positioned to advance the broader causes of civil and human rights in our communities. Our innovative programs are making a real and measurable difference in the lives of thousands of people in Atlanta and across the nation. We are quickly becoming a destination for educational resources on civil and human rights for students and teachers.


Building the Vision will propel The Center to a new level of reach and impact. We hope to raise $63 million or more in private and strategic public sector support by December 31, 2025. The funds are needed for the following priorities:

  • Physical Expansion – $48 million
  • New Programs & Projects – $5 million
  • Annual Operating Support – $2 million per year (for 5 years) = $10 million

We Need Your Support: This is YOUR Center – you are vital to helping us achieve our vision. Our Building the Vision Campaign is designed to seek gifts from people from all walks of life – as well as from our corporate and foundation partners. While you may choose to support a specific project or program – and there are exciting naming opportunities for larger gifts – we invite you to consider being a partner of the Center by making a gift or 5-year pledge at any of the three levels:

  • Gold Partner – $10,000
  • Silver Partner – $5,000
  • Bronze Partner – $2,500

Gifts at these levels and larger will be featured on a creative and permanent plaque in the new Center.

Our Physical Expansion

Our physical expansion will add 20,000 square feet of space for public engagement and conversation, exhibitions, and education. It includes two new wings:

The multi-story West Wing will house:

  • A Family Gallery on the lobby level.
  • A café.
  • A gallery memorializing racial violence.
  • A gallery space for traveling and special exhibitions.

The East Wing will be a one-story Innovation Lab – roughly 4,500 additional square feet of multifunctional space for classrooms, trainings, conferences, performances, events, and pre- and post-tour conversations that:

  • Brings total event space to 10,000 square feet.
  • Creates classroom space for conversations with students.
  • Provides training facilities for corporate DEI experiences, law enforcement training, and workshops on timely issues and civic engagement.
  • Creates a new ticketing experience and outdoor event space on the roof of the East Wing.

Enhancements to the current building include:

  • A reimagined gallery for the Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection.
  • A new Activation Lab so visitors can reflect on how to tap their own power to promote rights.
  • Expanding popular installations such as the lunch counter sit-in.

We expect to break ground in Q3 2022 and open our new wings in June 2024—for our 10th anniversary.

Our Program Expansion

Our program expansion includes: a DEI Experiences program for workplaces, a human rights training for law enforcement, and a national civil rights history education program. These innovative programs dedicated to deepening The Center’s work in human and civil rights are already being delivered to hundreds of individuals each year and engaging them with critical perspectives and tools to understand their roles as change-makers. In five years, we aspire to be the premier resource for teaching civil rights, helping people tap their own power to change the world. 

Our Expansion Partners

DaVinci Development

Role: Project Developer Manager

DaVinci Development Collaborative, LLC (DaVinci) is a boutique real estate advisory firm located in Atlanta, Georgia. Founded in 2014, DaVinci’s underlying thesis is to take real estate development to a more thoughtful and disciplined platform. We are committed to solving complex real estate challenges and to empowering teams to create value and enrich the communities served by our clients. DaVinci believes that with vision, buildings, and the spaces they create have the power to help communities thrive today – and flourish tomorrow. 

We guide clients on a proven, customizable, phase-gate process to turn ideas into market-based strategies through our Development Advisory and our Development Management services. We provide oversight for the lifespan of a project from vision to implementation to execution through a rigorous Investment Check Points process to consistently deliver projects on time and budget.


Role: Exhibition Design 

ATELIER BRÜCKNER is one of the worldwide leaders in exhibition design. Founded in 1997, the office—based in Stuttgart and Seoul—is run by Shirin Brückner, Prof. Eberhard Schlag, Britta Nagel and René Walkenhorst. 120 employees contribute to the development of narrative spaces for museums, brand and visitor centers. We focus on communicating content in an emotional way with long-lasting experience. Among our current large-scale projects are the Museum of the Future in Dubai and the Grand Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Notable past projects include the Visitor Centre of the European Parliament opened in Brussels. Opened in 2011, the exhibition is provided in 24 languages.

Lord Cultural Resources

Role: Exhibit Content and Narrative Design

Lord Cultural Resources is the global practice leader in cultural sector planning. Since 1981, we have helped to create, plan, and operate cultural spaces and places in more than 460 cities, in 57 countries and six continents. We are thinkers, collaborators, and problem solvers. We employ a human-centric approach to all our projects, engaging with stakeholders, communities, and subject matter experts, to ensure that visitor and user needs, and expectations are first and foremost in an ever- evolving and competitive market. Our team of designers and architects, planners, writers, market and financial specialists and experience creators apply their expertise to a wide spectrum of cultural projects, offering a broad range of integrated services.

We plan and develop implementable solutions, help create new visitor experiences and craft visionary strategies for museums, universities, mixed-use developments, cultural centers, art galleries, science centers, world expositions, visitor centers, heritage sites, festivals, theaters, archives, libraries, gardens, conservatories, and arboreta around the world.

Juneau Construction Company

Role: Building Construction

Juneau Construction Company was founded in 1997 by husband-wife team, Les and Nancy Juneau. With offices in Atlanta, Miami and Tampa, Juneau performs as Construction Managers, Design-Builders and General Contractors on both public and private project types across the Southeast. Juneau works with clients who align with our mission, core purpose and values to provide best in class projects in the Commercial, Higher Education, Hospitality, Multifamily, Mixed-Use, and Student Housing markets, along with a client experience that builds relationships and fosters partnerships where clients want to work with Juneau again and again. Juneau Construction Company has earned the #2 spot on Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Top Woman-Owned firm list, along with spots on their top Private Companies and Top Commercial Contractors lists. Juneau is also nationally recognized by ENR and BD+C as a Top General Contractor.

At Juneau our mission is simple, yet profound: we strive to be best in class, while promoting family, teamwork and a dedication to construction excellence. Our firm is energetic and passionate about solving the most difficult challenges in new and exciting ways, while at the same time building projects that leave every single community we work in better than we found them.


Role: Architect

At Perkins&Will, our goal is to design places that make a positive difference in the world. That’s why people are at the heart of everything we do. Our work impacts lives through sustainability, resilience, well-being, diversity, inclusion, and research. There’s so much more to architecture than what meets the eye. It has the power to inspire joy, uplift lives, and strengthen the spirit of a community. Every place has it’s own story. We work with cultural institutions to tell their singular stories and shape experiences that promote understanding of self, appreciation of community, and empathy for others.