(New York) – The opening of the new Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta is an important milestone to increase awareness of national and global human rights issues in the United States, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch is one of five official partners of the center, contributing expertise and content to its Global Human Rights Gallery.
The Center for Civil and Human Rights was conceived in 2007 as a cultural bridge between the American civil rights movement and contemporary international human rights advocacy. Its core mission is engagement and empowerment: “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 center will officially open its doors to the public on June 23, 2014, following a celebration at its downtown Atlanta location.
“Human Rights Watch is a proud contributor of historical and real-time human rights news and video to the Center for Civil and Human Rights,” said Minky Worden, director of global initiatives at Human Rights Watch. “By deepening public understanding of America’s civil rights legacy and its ties to the modern global rights movement, the center is set to play a key role in educating the public about why human rights matter.”
The 42,000-square-foot center houses several exhibits, including “Voice to the Voiceless,” displaying the artifacts and papers of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and “Rolls Down Like Water,” on the history of the American civil rights movement. Human Rights Watch and four other official partners – Amnesty International USA, Freedom House, Human Rights First, and Minority Rights Group International – provided content and expertise for the exhibit titled “Spark of Conviction: The Global Human Rights Movement,” housed in the 6,000-square-foot Human Rights Movement Gallery on the top floor.
Curated by the human rights activist Jill Savitt, special adviser at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the “Spark of Conviction” exhibit features interactive technology – including a presentation on immigrants’ rights narrated by Human Rights Watch expert Grace Meng – and is designed to “put the human in human rights.”
Human rights defenders who have won the Human Right Watch Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism are featured in the gallery, with life-size portraits by the prize-winning photographer Platon.
Human Rights Watch will provide ongoing content to the Center for Civil and Human Rights by supplying its news feed as the primary source of the center’s live ticker.