Invest Atlanta’s Board of Directors approved a $250,000 grant from the Westside Tax Allocation District Ascension Fund for the planned 23,898-square-foot expansion of National Center for Civil and Human Rights (NCCHR).
Built in 2014 and operated primarily as a museum, the NCCHR not only houses museum exhibits, including the papers and artifacts of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but also serves as a training, education, conference, and performance facility.
“The NCCHR is seeking to expand their local attraction to a national cultural institution that will serve as an education, training, conference and performance hub focused on human dignity, human rights and human justice,” said Dr. Eloisa Klementich, president and CEO of Invest Atlanta. “This expansion is both a physical and a programmatic expansion. This transformation will help them deliver impact, it will help them reach their mission and it expands on the diversity conversation.”
The enlarged footprint and new educational offerings will fundamentally shift the Center’s business model going forward – increase annual admissions from approximately 202,000 to over 250,000; adding new revenue streams from corporate and law enforcement trainings; and increasing its rental income for external events.
NCCHR’s buildout includes the addition of an east wing to house an Innovation Lab including 5,000 square feet of flexible classrooms for students and teacher training, especially for underserved schools; training facilities for non-profit and corporate Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) experiences; and human rights training facilities for courses for police officers.
The new facilities will also allow the center to grow its Operation Inspiration Program to provide free and subsidized admission and transportation to up to 35,000 low-income (Title I-qualified) students annually.
“We desperately want to build these wings because one of them will be devoted to having the kinds of conversations that bring community together in this space with the papers of Dr. King making progress on issues of equity, and diversity and inclusion like no other space can,” said Jill Savitt, president and CEO of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. “We are seeking to be the hub of that in downtown Atlanta so people can come together and hash out these challenges.”