Voices of our Community

Jan122016

Volunteer Spotlght: Belinda McCafferty

This month, we recognize Belinda McCafferty as our volunteer of the month. View a Q&A about her experience serving at The Center below! If you have any questions about volunteering please email Tynisha Wooley, Educational Strategies Coordinator, at twooley@civilandhumanrights.org

1. What inspired you to volunteer at the Center?

I recently finished serving several years on the Board of Trustees for a non-profit in Atlanta and
was looking for an opportunity to do something different as a community volunteer. The Center
interested me because of the chance to share the history of the Civil Rights movement, an era
in which I grew up in the South, and to learn more about the Human Rights issues in the world
today, a movement in which many of my younger friends are involved.
 
2. What was your perception of the Center prior to visiting it and how has your perception
 changed since your experience at the Center?
 
I thought the Center focused solely on the Civil Rights movement and was not aware of its
commitment to equally telling the story about Global Human Rights. The Center does an
incredible job of showing the juxtaposition between the two and how ordinary people have made
a difference in the lives of others. The interactive nature of the exhibits is appealing to people of
all ages and provides an opportunity to learn from the past to continue to protect the rights of all
people.

3. What has been your most inspiring moment during your time at the Center?

I was impressed with the involvement of a group of teachers from an Atlanta Public School
middle school during a tour with their students. The teachers were interested, engaged with the
students and identified areas in the galleries to reinforce back in the classroom. APS teachers
have had many challenges in the past few years and it was inspiring to me to see the dedication
and commitment to learning demonstrated by these individuals.

4. What do you enjoy most about interacting with visitors at the Center?

As an extrovert, I love meeting people from diverse backgrounds and hearing their stories. The
reaction of the school age visitors to the Center is especially fun to see and the unique
perspective they bring allows me to learn much more from them than they do from me.
 
5. If you could spend time with any leader featured in the Center, who would you choose
and why?
 
There are so many great stories that could be told by all of the leaders featured in the Center
but I would like to spend time with some of the ordinary people who were involved in the fight
for civil rights. People like the freedom riders, marchers at Selma, those who went to
Mississippi to help register voters, the students who first integrated the schools, the people who
fought to sit at the lunch counters and ride the buses, the young people who were attacked by
dogs and hoses and so many others who stood up and said, " Enough!" Their stories of what
triggered their decisions to get involved in dangerous, life threatening activities and why they felt
they could make a difference would be inspiring to hear.

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