Voices of our Community


The Center Turns One!

June 22, 2015                                                                 


Judith Montier: 404.835.4281


Center for Civil and Human Rights Observes One Year Anniversary 
During a year of civil and human rights issues and unrest, The Center providedrefuge, reflection and dialogue  

ATLANTA, GA – June 22, 2015 –Tomorrow marks the first anniversary of the opening of the Center for Civil and Human Rights, located in the heart of downtown Atlanta. The award-winning Center is a bold and interactive experience that takes people from all walks of life on a transformative personal journey to educate, inspire and empower them.
The Center has welcomed thousands of visitors from around the world who have immersed themselves in the civil and human rights struggles that have tarnished the past, yet still remain today. Deborah Richardson, interim CEO stated, “The last twelve months have clearly demonstrated the relevancy of The Center as issues of intolerance, discrimination, conflict and injustice dominate national headlines.” Richardson continued, “Now, more than ever, we need places where our communities can come together for civil dialogue on difficult issues, with respect and appreciation for our differences. The Center was created for this very purpose.”
Since June 23, 2014, The Center has reached more than 50,000 students and 1,200 educators, established partnerships with more than 25 education and community partners and launched 5 public/private school partnerships. Additionally, the organization has hosted more than 100 discussions and programs and 250 events and meetings focusing on a variety of issues, including human trafficking, gender rights, and emerging civil and human rights struggles. With education and inspiration for a new generation of human rights leaders as a core focus, The Center launched three significant initiatives in its first year:  an International Human Trafficking Institute (IHTI), a LGBT Institute and the John Lewis Fellowship.
Within this first year, The Center has received numerous awards and accolades for design and exhibitions from the American Alliance of Museums, Creative Arts, Urban Land Institute, American Institute of Architects, Gold LEED Building Certification and the Governor’s Award for Humanities. Additionally, Atlanta Magazine and Interior Design Magazine named The Center the “Best Exhibition of the Year” while Creative Loafing voted it “Best New Attraction” and “Best New Thing About Atlanta.” Shirley Clarke Franklin, Board Chair stated, “This has been a transformative year for The Center. We are poised to continue the momentum and positive trajectory as we move into our second year of operations and beyond.”
The Center reports that visitor feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and visitors have stayed longer and have had a more meaningful experience than anticipated.  As The Center prepares to close out its first year of operations, projections are on track to meet revenue expectations through a combination of attendance, memberships and robust event rentals.  
Anniversary celebrations kicked off on May 5 and 6 with the inaugural Human Rights Summit and the Power to Inspire Tribute Dinner, an awards reception and dinner to honor trailblazers who have dedicated their lives to creating a more equal and just world for all.  The inaugural event helped raise $700,000 to provide educational opportunities for students and other individuals to experience The Center and all it has to offer.
Celebrations have continued through June, with upcoming events including:

  • Art, Games, and Social Justice – Tuesday, June 23 families are invited to participate in a series of youth focused experiences. Our friends at the Boys and Girls Club of Atlanta will run activities for children of all ages beginning at 11:00 AM, 12:00 PM, and 1:00 PM. 
  • An Uplifting Conversation on Faith and Creating a More Just World – Tuesday, June 23 leaders of the Atlanta faith community will lead a discussion about seeking social justice. Building on the faith leadership of the Civil Rights Movement, they will share their thoughts on the roles of faith-based organizations as catalysts for social change. 
  • The Luvoyo Mandela Young Professionals Workshop and Reception –Thursday, June 25, the next generation of entrepreneurs will learn business lessons from Nelson Mandela’s great grandson as he connects the American Civil Rights Movement to human rights movements happening in Africa today. (This event is at capacity)
  • Gideon’s Promise – Friday, June 26, Gideon’s Promise and the Center for Civil and Human Rights will come together from 11:00-2:00 to discuss the current state of the judicial system and where we should be heading together. (This event is at capacity)
  • Chicago Love – Saturday, June 27, a documentary that explores the many causes behind the city of Chicago’s challenges. With recent protests and violence in the United States, this documentary aims to answer the question in many minds: What is happening in our cities? Film screenings with dialogues following will take place at 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM.
  • The inaugural John Lewis Fellowship kicks off on July 5 with 30 American and European university students and recent graduates participating in a forum about diversity and civil rights in America.

“We are proud of The Center’s accomplishments in year one, but there is still work to be done. There are basic human rights battles being fought every day and as we look to year two, we will continue to provide a voice to the voiceless and work to educate and inspire the world to be a better place for current and future generations,” said Richardson.
Summer hours (through August 8) for The Center are Monday – Thursday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Friday – Sunday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Adult tickets are $15 and child (ages 6–12) tickets are $10. Memberships start at $50 per year and include unlimited free admission for one year, access to members-only events, and special discounts on programming, events and gift memberships.


About 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. The Center features a continuously rotating exhibit from The Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection, which includes many of Dr. King’s documents and personal items. Visitors will be immersed in experiential exhibits through powerful and authentic stories, historic documents, compelling artifacts, and interactive activities. The Center is a source for ongoing dialogue —hosting educational forums and attracting world-renowned speakers and artists who work on a variety of human rights topics. For more information, visit www.civilandhumanrights.org

For more information on The Center, please visit www.civilandhumanrights.org. Join the conversation on civil and human rights on Twitter @Ctr4CHR and Facebook

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