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A Guide to Visiting the National Center for Civil and Human Rights

National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Atlanta, Georgia

The National Center for Civil and Human Rights is an eye opening museum. Through powerful exhibitions, you’ll learn about the American Civil Rights Movement as well as today’s global human rights issues. Find out more about visiting this museum in this in-depth guide.

Visiting the National Center for Civil and Human Rights is a moving experience that will open your eyes to the history of civil rights issues in the U.S. and the universal struggle for human rights around the world. This guide will provide you with all the information needed to make your trip to the National Center for Civil and Human Rights an unforgettable experience.

Read on to find out what makes the National Center for Civil and Human Rights a must-visit destination and to get an insider’s guide to making the most of your visit.

About the National Center for Civil and Human Rights

The National Center for Civil and Human Rights opened in Atlanta on Memorial Day 2014. The Center aims to inspire visitors with immersive exhibitions, dynamic conversations, and engagement in educational programs.

More than just a museum, the Center is also a human rights organization that hosts performances, lectures, educational programing, human rights training for law enforcement officials, and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion experiences for workplaces.

National Center for Civil and Human Rights Exhibits

See what’s on at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. There are currently three permanent exhibits at the Center that focus on the American Civil Rights Movement, global human rights initiatives, and the papers of Martin Luther King, Jr. There is also a gallery that hosts temporary exhibitions.

Rolls Down Like Water: U.S. Civil Rights Movement

U.S. Civil Rights Movement Exhibit at National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Atlanta, Georgia

This exhibition focuses on the fight for civil rights in America, from segregation to the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968.

You’ll begin your tour of the museum here, learning about life in the 1950s South with Jim Crow laws and enforced segregation. You’ll get a look at Atlanta’s thriving African-American community that established itself despite this adversity.

Next, you’ll learn about the Freedom Riders and Lunch Counter Sit-Ins, forms of non-violent protests that took place in the 1960s.

The exhibition takes you through the March on Washington and ends with the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Spark of Conviction: Global Human Rights Movement

Global Human Rights Exhibit at National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Atlanta, Georgia

This exhibition focuses on the global human rights movement and features interactive exhibits for a deeper understanding of the issues.

You’ll walk through a gallery of portraits of prominent human rights defenders. These people devoted themselves to fighting for equality and freedom, took on powerful leaders, and pursued human rights through peaceful protests.

In the exhibit “Who, Like Me, Is Threatened?”, you’ll see yourself in the struggles of others. Using interactive mirrors, this immersive installation puts you face-to-face with another person as they tell you their story of persecution.

You’ll end this exhibit with a look at Human Rights in Action. This section details human rights issues and abuses that affect us all, and that we can effect. You can look at human rights campaigns since the end of WWII and explore a map of the state of current global human rights.

Voice to the Voiceless: Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection

MLK Collection at National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Atlanta, Georgia

Located on the lower level of the museum, this collection displays personal papers and items from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The selections are rotated periodically and are grouped by theme. When you visit, you may see papers related to peaceful protest instructions, the legacy of the March on Washington, and more.

Georgia Pacific Gallery Plaza

This outdoor plaza features rotating temporary exhibits that are free to visit outside the Center. Exhibits range from LGBTQ+ rights to highlighting inequality around the world.

Things to Do at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights

Experience the Lunch Counter Sit-In

Lunch Counter Sit-In Simulation at National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Atlanta, Georgia

The Lunch Counter Sit-In simulation is one of the Center’s most powerful exhibits. After learning about the training involved in non-violent protests, you can participate in this simulation that places you in the shoes of a non-violent protestor in 1960 “sitting-in” at a whites-only lunch counter to protest segregation.

During this emotional simulation, you’ll sit with your hands on the counter, close your eyes, and listen to the threats levied against protestors and see how long you can endure the abuse.

Attend Special Events and Programs

The Center offers ongoing programming for young professionals, families and children, students, and adults. You can attend both virtual and in-person programming ranging from book talks to workshops to film screenings.

Explore the Gift Shop

The Center’s gift shop offers apparel, accessories, jewelry, toys, books, and gifts related to civil and human rights. The gift shop is open during museum hours.

Visiting the National Center for Civil and Human Rights

National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Atlanta, Georgia

Non-flash photography is permitted in all except the “Voice to the Voiceless” gallery. Food and drink, including personal water bottles, are not permitted inside the galleries.

Address: 100 Ivan Allen Jr Blvd NW, Atlanta, GA 30313

Admission: Tickets for the National Center for Civil and Human Rights cost $19.99 for adults, $17.99 for seniors ages 65+, $15.99 for children ages 7-12, and free for children 6 and under. Military discounts are offered at the ticket window with ID.

Get discounted tickets using the Atlanta CityPASS.

Hours: The museum is open Wednesdays through Fridays from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sundays from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Last admission is at 4 p.m.

Parking: Parking for the Center is available at the World of Coca-Cola or Georgia Aquarium parking garages.

U.S. Civil Rights Movement Exhibit at National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Atlanta, Georgia

National Center for Civil and Human Rights FAQ

How long does it take to go through the National Center for Civil and Human Rights?

A typical visit to the National Center for Civil and Human Rights takes about 90 minutes.

How much is admission to the National Center for Civil and Human Rights?

Admission to the National Center for Civil and Human Rights cost $19.99 for adults, $17.99 for seniors ages 65+, $15.99 for children ages 7-12, and free for children 6 and under. Military discounts are offered at the ticket window with ID.

What’s inside the National Center for Civil and Human Rights?

The National Center for Civil and Human Rights contains exhibitions on the U.S. Civil Rights Movement, human rights movements around the world, and papers and artifacts of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Can I get a discount to the National Center for Civil and Human Rights?

The best way to save on admission to the National Center for Civil and Human Rights is by using the Atlanta CityPASS. This attraction pass lets you save big on Atlanta’s top 5 attractions, including this museum.

Military discounts are offered at the ticket window with valid ID.

| Save on admission to Atlanta’s top attractions using the Atlanta CityPASS.

Craving More Atlanta Activities?

If you need more things to do while visiting Atlanta, check out these top posts:

Where to Stay in Atlanta


Ready to visit Atlanta, Georgia? Plan your trip with these tips.

  • Get Familiar With the City: Check out my Ultimate Guide to Atlanta to help plan your trip!
  • Book Your Flight: Find the cheapest flights using Skyscanner, my favorite flight search engine.
  • Find Accommodation: You can find top hotels in Atlanta using Booking.com.
  • Save on Attractions: Save 46% on admission to Atlanta’s top attractions using the Atlanta CityPASS.

Cheers!

Paige

A Guide to Visiting the National Center for Civil and Human Rights

Have you visited the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta? Let me know in the comments!

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