Voices of our Community

Aug112014 3

Volunteer Spotlight: Erica Leonard

Our vision is to create a welcoming and inspirational environment for everyone who enters our doors. We are able to ensure this experience through the exceptional work and dedication of our staff and volunteers. Each month, The Center will feature an outstanding individuals, companies and partners who exemplify our vision and commitment to inspire and empower visitors from every generation. 


Meet Erica Leonard:

Originally from Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, Erica Leonard is a Spelman College graduate who started her career in the field of education. She is also a travel enthusiast who enjoys experiencing cultural and art events.


Q & A

Q: We are so happy to have you as one of our volunteers and have you contributing to our diverse team. What inspired you to volunteer at The Center?

A:  I was inspired to volunteer because The Center represents ideologies and principles that I believe in and want to promote.

Q: What was your perception of The Center prior to visiting, and how has your perception changed since your experience at The Center?

A: My initial perception of The Center was developed during my training sessions. I felt that The Center would be a place where individuals would be welcome to come learn and share their experiences on how the "non-violent approach" to resolving issues against humanity has in the past, and continues even today, to have the power to create changes for the betterment of people around the world.

Not only has my initial perception proven to be correct, I have experienced that The Center provides so much more, including many opportunities for self-reflection through the many thought provoking and inspiring stories told throughout the galleries.

Q: What was the most exciting moment during your experience at the Center for Civil and Human Rights?

A: The most exciting moment that I experienced through The Center didn't actually occur at The Center. It was through watching a local news segment about Ambassador Andrew Young's experience as he viewed the "March on Washington" exhibit. He was moved to tears and I realized at that moment, if a civil rights leader was deeply affected by his experience at The Center, how wonderful it is that The Center will be able to touch so many more lives!

Q: What is your favorite exhibit and why?

A: My favorite exhibit is located adjacent to the Human Rights Gallery. It's the entire "Move, Free, Act Gallery".  Simply put...it's so empowering!

Q:  What do you enjoy most about interacting with visitors of The Center?

A: While I have experienced my fair share of visitors who simply needed to locate the restrooms, there are also those who stop to share an emotional comment or words of appreciation for The Center. I enjoy all the interactions. Where I can be of assistance is where I want to be!

Q: If you could spend time with any leader featured in The Center, who would you choose and why?

A: I would select "a group" of people. The "Women's Political Council" (WPC) was comprised of women who worked diligently for change during the Civil Rights Movement.  Many of the members were educators, such as myself. I would enjoy hearing about their experiences and victories as women during this very important time in our country's history. I first became aware of the WPC here at The Center in the "Rolls Down Like Water" Gallery.

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  • Kim Smith's gravatar Kim Smith says:

    I remember her!!! She was so sweet and polite. I can’t believe she’s only a volunteer. I would definitely grab her ASAP, she made my experience in the museum a great one. Love this facility and staff and especially your feature!! I’ll be back to visit again!

    -K. Smith

  • Armelia Braddy's gravatar Armelia Braddy says:

    This was a refreshing interview for such wonderful work. Ms. Leonard is a great teacher and fantastic person. Good Job!

  • Ray Stanford's gravatar Ray Stanford says:

    Erica made my experience at the Center.  Following that evening, I have learned more about her values and integrity.  Her attitude and actions reflect an outward-centered care of others combined with courage to engage opposing thought ... a living model.

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