The Civil Rights Memorial Center honors 40 martyrs of the civil rights movement. A visit to the Civil Rights Memorial Center (CRMC) is an opportunity to go beyond the limits of a textbook. This is a top destination for students in our New Alternative program who choose to take the Montgomery excursion, just a 40-minute drive from Selma. Find out why!
Here are five of our FAVORITE things about the Civil Rights Memorial Center:
1. The CRMC tells the stories of the unsung heroes. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks played critical parts in the movement, but the CRMC highlights the often unnoticed and unmentioned. WWII veterans, priests, college students’ mothers, grandparents, elementary-aged children, all individuals that died for the cause of Civil Rights. The CRMC gives individuals the opportunity to learn more about these everyday heroes.
2. Watch Faces in the Water. Faces in the Water is an 18-minute film telling the stories of some of the martyrs featured at the memorial. You learn about Emmitt Till’s death from the perspective of his mother, and hear other heart wrenching stories that were all part of this great movement. The film makes running your hands through the water on the memorial a much deeper experience.
3. Connecting the past and the present. The CRMC illustrates that the march indeed continues by connecting the fight for equality in the civil rights movement to the fight for human rights today. After watching Faces in the Water, you’ll be greeted by Elie Wiesel’s famous quote “We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim” and then you enter a hallway featuring a collage of images from today’s struggle for justice. You’ll see the stories of five modern day martyrs killed since 1980. The hallway is a powerful part of the experience and often a memory visitors carry with them long after they leave.
4. Make a pledge to lifelong tolerance. Commit to continuing the fight and permanently sign your name on the Wall of Tolerance. Join the over 600,000 individuals who have made the pledge to living a life of tolerance and acceptance. Signing the wall is an opportunity to reflect and consider how you will continue to stand against hate, intolerance, and injustice.
5. Run your hand through the Civil Rights Memorial. Designed by world-renowned artist, Maya Lin, the Civil Rights Memorial is a highlight for many. The Memorial offers a time for personal reflection and connection to the men, women, and children who sacrificed their lives for our freedoms today. Maya Lin included a blank space in the Memorial to pay homage to those who died for civil rights and to reflect on the role you can play in continuing the fight for justice and equality. For more information on the Civil Rights Memorial Center, click here!