Civil Rights museum wants to reach out

by Matt Comer  Editor  editor@goqnotes.com
Published: September 20, 2010 in Blog

In an article last week, the News & Record reported on the International Civil Rights Center & Museum in Greensboro and the challenges they face building support and attendance. So far this year, the center has attracted 40,000 visitors. The ultimate goal, leaders say, is an average of 200,000 per year.

To reach that goal, some center leaders want to reach out on other issues of equality. The N&R reports:

Other board members say they’d like to see the museum offer more seminars that tackle current civil rights issues — for example, gay marriage or the abuse of immigrants.

As a nonprofit operation, the museum must walk a fine line between stirring the pot of such issues without straying into the realm of advocacy, said board member Doug Harris, a Greensboro lawyer.

“On the one hand, we don’t want to be involved in the politics of it,” Harris said. “But on the other, we want to support civil rights.”

It’d be phenomenal to see the center include a special exhibit on LGBT equality movements. It wouldn’t be political, rather wholly educational. In fact, the center is poised to be a perfect place to highlight local LGBT equality movements and history, and could put together an exhibit drawing on various sources: local university archives/libraries, archives from North Carolina’s local LGBT newspapers (both us and former The Front Page) as well as personal recollections from veteran Triad and North Carolina LGBT leaders (calling Mandy Carter!).

The International Civil Rights Center has already partnered with LGBT groups. Last week, they and Equality NC and the Human Rights Campaign hosted a panel discussion on anti-LGBT discrimination and the fight for legal equality both nationally and on a state level.