Richardson, who grew up down the street from Dr. King’s father, “Daddy King,” expressed enthusiasm and a sentimental connection to the NCCHR and what it will offer to Atlanta and visitors.
“It’s about bringing the legacy of Atlanta’s unique role as the think tank to the minds and hearts of young people who never lived or experienced it. So I have a very personal commitment to the role that the center will play,” she said.
NCCHR intends to tackle issues in a contemporary way and use the Civil Rights Movement as a case study to help people understand current events and news, Richardson noted.
“We have a larger commitment to being out in our community providing programming through our broadcast facility to the nation and world, and being a resource for people who are never able to come to Atlanta. It’s about connecting with them. We live in a global society and so I am very confident and thrilled that the center will be able to live up to that,” said Richardson.
Shipman said that NCCHR will work as a partner with The King Center and The Carter Center. “If someone wants to delve deeply into Dr. King’s life, they would then take the streetcar over to The King Center,” said Shipman. The upcoming Atlanta Streetcar project makes a way for visitors to easily commute from The King Center to Centennial Olympic Park area to tour important landmarks and places in the city.
“We see ourselves as telling kind of a broad story and the legacy of how the issues that were undertaken during the Civil Rights Movement and the technique continued in the Human Rights Movement,” Shipman said.
Shipman said his vision includes having authentic dialogue around human and civil rights issues that are not currently being discussed in Atlanta. “I want people to feel like we need to talk about what’s happening in North Africa around the Arab uprising and the Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta is the place we want to do it, or we’re a company and we’re struggling with complex minerals and we want to have a session at the Center for Civil and Human Rights for our senior executives,” he shared.
In pinpointing Shipman’s measure for success, it’s all about helping people with their issues. “When people feel that they need to bring their issues to our center to talk about them, to work through them and to educate themselves on them, that’s when we know we’ve succeeded,” he said.
Richardson offered a parallel view of the center’s purpose and plans for its achievements. “Whatever people’s opinions are about the design, at the end of the day it’s about the work. It’s about what takes place within those walls and permeates out into the community. At the center, we have a really firm commitment that what happens within the four walls is really just the beginning.”
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