FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- What is the purpose of the International Civil Rights Center & Museum?
The International Civil Rights Center & Museum is an archival center, collecting museum and teaching facility devoted to the international struggle for civil and human rights. The Museum will cultivate contemporary conversation and serve as an educational center for the exploration of pressing social, civil and human rights issues.
- What type of programming will the Museum offer?
The Museum will cultivate on-going contemporary conversation through symposia, community and public events that examine the social context and key contributors to the Civil Rights Movement.
The Museum children's activity and education center will offer educational tools and opportunities for teachers and students in primary and secondary grades.
The Museum will be a community meeting place for discourse that fosters cultural interaction on an international and national level through regular programming and events.
- Who founded the Museum?
In 1993, Melvin "Skip" Alston, chair of the Guilford County Commissioners, and NC State Representative Earl Jones stepped in when they heard that the FW Woolworth store in Greensboro, NC, - home of the famous 1960 lunch counter sit-in - would be closed and demolished to make a parking lot. The two men created the Sit-In Movement, Inc. - a nonprofit organization whose mission was to purchase and renovate the Woolworth building to preserve its history in the civil rights movement.
- Who designed the Museum?
The architecture of the Museum was designed by the Freelon Group, an architecture firm located in Durham, N.C. The Museum exhibits were designed by Eisterhold Associates of Kansas City, Mo., and installed by Art Guild, based in Thorofare, N.J.
- How large is the Museum?
Exhibit space for the Museum totals 30,000 square feet. Offices, conference rooms and other administration facilities comprise an additional 10,000 square feet.
- How can I support the Museum?
Visit the 1960 Society page to learn how you can become a member of the 1960 Society, a group of individuals and organizations that support the ongoing mission of the Museum.
- How long did the Greensboro sit-ins last?
The Greensboro lunch counter sit-ins began on February 1, 1960 and continued nearly six months until the counter was integrated on July 25, 1960.
- Was Greensboro the first occurrence of a sit-in?
Although Greensboro's sit-in was not the first of its kind, it is considered the first sustained sit-in and a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement. Within two months, similar sit-ins had occurred in more than sixty cities across the South.
- What key factors made the Greensboro sit-ins successful?
While the success of the sit-ins can't be traced to any one element, there are two things that made an impact on its vitality. First, the media attention paid to the sit-ins was significant and sustained. Second, Greensboro was, and is, home to many historically black colleges and universities and other colleges. All of these institutions of higher learning supported the sit-ins in one way or another.
- What are the International Sites of Conscience?
The International Coalition of Sites of Conscience is a worldwide network of "Sites of Conscience" - historic sites specifically dedicated to remembering past struggles for justice and addressing their contemporary legacies.
- The Civil Rights Movement dealt with some experiences that may be upsetting for children. Is the Museum an appropriate place for children to visit?
The Museum houses a children's area called SIMI's room which is devoted to educational programming for youth.
- Why is the Museum located in Greensboro, NC?
Greensboro, NC, was the location of the 1960 FW Woolworth lunch counter sit-ins, a galvanizing event in the civil rights movement. The Museum is housed in the renovated 1929 Woolworth building.
- What is a collecting museum, and how does the Museum acquire artifacts?
There are collecting and non-collecting museums. Non-collecting museums don't add to their roster of artifacts while collecting museums are always on the look-out for items to add to their collection that will help them better tell their story to visitors.