National Center For Civil And Human Rights
Explore the past & present through interactive exhibits
The National Center for Civil and Human Rights in downtown Atlanta pays homage to the American civil rights movement, and it brings current global human rights issues to the forefront. The center is a perfect starting point for exploring Atlanta’s history in civil and human rights.
Come for a couple of hours and explore the Center’s three main exhibits: civil rights, human rights and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection from Morehouse College.
Each exhibit features hands-on interactive displays that bring guests into the subject matter. View a video on the panoramic screen or sit at a lunch counter that simulates Freedom Riders protests. Stand tall next to life-size images of the dictators of the world – they’re surprisingly short!
Reasons to Visit the National Center for Civil and Human Rights
- The National Center for Civil and Human Rights is the perfect place to start your exploration of Atlanta’s storied past. The facility highlights Atlanta’s – and its people’s – role in the civil rights movement like no other. Start here and then visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. Historic Site and The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum.
- On the bottom floor (below the main entry level) is the “Voice to the Voiceless” exhibit. This gallery, featuring personal belongings and writings of Martin Luther King Jr., also projects the phrase “I have a dream” onto the Southern pine walls in more than 20 languages. Here, you’ll see not only original drafts of MLK’s most famous speeches, but also letters and notes written to friends and colleagues urging them to carry on in the fight for justice.
- The National Center for Civil and Human Rights will broaden your view of who was active in the fight for civil rights. One look at Freedom Riders Wall or the Wall of Martyrs and you’ll see young and old, black and white, and male and female. The defenders of civil rights came in all shapes and sizes.
- Don’t miss the amazing water sculpture out back. Before you ever make it through the front doors, head around to the Ivan Allen Boulevard side of the building for a peek at this incredible sculpture. It features quotes from Margaret Mead and Nelson Mandela and perfectly represents all that the Center is working toward.
- You can tell your story. On the second floor, there is an oral history booth where guests can share their own stories of civil and human rights. The videos are then curated and shown on the wall of the Center for Civil and Human Rights.
- Don’t let the heavy subject matter deter you. Civil and human rights aren’t easy subjects to tackle, but the Center for Civil and Human Rights tells an uplifting and inspiring story. You’ll leave with an appreciation for how far we have come and hope for the future.
- Plan to spend a couple of hours there. You can make it through in an hour and a half, but to really take your time reading, observing and soaking in the exhibits, you’ll need at least two hours.
- Take note of the ambiance of each room you enter. Is it dimly lit? It probably represents a dark period of history. Is the room bright and full of light? That place most likely depicts a more hopeful moment in time.
Know before you go
Where is the National Center for Civil and Human Rights located?
The National Center for Civil and Human Rights is located in downtown Atlanta between the Georgia Aquarium and the World of Coca-Cola at:
100 Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd
Atlanta, GA 30313
When is the National Center for Civil and Human Rights open?
Hours for the National Center for Civil and Human Rights are:
Monday to Saturday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Last entry at 4 p.m.)
Sunday: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. (Last entry at 4 p.m.)
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