About Us

The Center for Civil and Human Rights

The Center for Civil and Human Rights in downtown Atlanta is an engaging cultural attraction that connects the American Civil Rights Movement to today’s Global Human Rights Movements

Our purpose is to create a safe space for visitors to explore the fundamental rights of all human beings so that they leave inspired and empowered to join the ongoing dialogue about human rights in their communities.


A Brief History

The Center was first imagined by civil rights legends Evelyn Lowery and former United Nations Ambassador Andrew Young and was launched by former Mayor Shirley Franklin. The effort gained broad-based corporate and community support to become one of the few places in the world educating visitors on the bridge between the American Civil Rights Movement and the contemporary struggle for Human Rights around the world.

Established in 2007, The Center’s groundbreaking 42,000-square-foot facility is located on Pemberton Place®, adjacent to the World of Coca-Cola and the Georgia Aquarium, on land donated by the Coca-Cola Company.


A Universal Mission

The mission of The National Center for Civil and Human Rights is to empower people to take the protection of every human’s rights personally. Through sharing stories of courage and struggle around the world, The Center encourages visitors to gain a deeper understanding of the role they play in helping to protect the rights of all people.

The National Center for Civil and Human Rights harnesses Atlanta’s legacy of civil rights to strengthen the worldwide movement for human rights. Atlanta played a unique leadership role in the American Civil Rights Movement. Through harnessing Atlanta’s legacy and galvanizing the corporate, faith-based, public-sector and university communities, The Center serves as the ideal place to reflect on the past, transform the present and inspire the future.


A Universal Declaration of Human Rights

In 1948, shortly after World War II, a set of basic principles were established and placed before the United Nations (UN) declaring the inalienable rights of all people around the world and attempting to document the lessons learned from past decades of violence and injustice. The document, known as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), contains thirty articles, which serve as a set of principles for governments to use to remain accountable for their duty to protect the rights and freedoms of all people.

  • The UDHR was drafted under the leadership of an American woman and First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt.
  • Social justice, civil rights activists, civil liberties groups and religious groups including the NAACP, W.E.B. Dubois, the American Bar Association, and the American Jewish Association called on the UN to institutionalize peace-making.
  • The Guinness Book of World Records lists the UDHR as the most translated document in the world.
  • All 192-member states of the UN have signed an agreement in support of the UDHR.
  • The UDHR was used as a framework for the UN to create the Millennium Development Goals.

Additional Resources

Visit The Museum

Learn about The American Civil Rights Movement and its significance
for the progress of human rights across the world.

OPEN 10 AM to 5 PM


The Center will close at 3 PM on October 18, 2016. Last entry at 2 PM.





  • The Center for Civil and Human Rights is A TREMENDOUS ACHIEVEMENT, unlike anything this city has ever seen . . . for the rest of my days it will be the first place I take visitors to my city . . . I [FEEL] LIKE THE HEART OF ATLANTA HAS FINALLY FOUND A HOME.

    Chuck Reece Editor-in-Chief of The Bitter Southener
  • The Center's exhibits tell stories in ways that promote empathy and understanding. This fledgling cultural institution has already SUCCEEDED IN EXPANDING ATLANTA'S ETHICAL FOOTPRINT.

    Catherine Fox ArtsATL
  • This stunning museum is a CAN'T MISS Atlanta attraction. My family had just under an hour to experience the museum before it closed but it was AMONG THE MOST POWERFUL HOURS OF MY LIFE.

    Dante M. TripAdvisor Review
  • MY 15 YEAR OLD SON was dragged into this tour by his debate coach. 6 hours later, he returned with a message – "Mom, we have got to go back this weekend!" He and his buddies loved it...a big accomplishment for any museum when it comes to teenage boys.

    Museum Visitor TripAdvisor Review