The National Center for Civil and Human Rights: A Spectacular Display of History

Written by  //  August 6, 2014  //  Community  // 

NCHR building


The Center for Civil and Human Rights in downtown Atlanta is an engaging cultural attraction that connects the American Civil Rights Movement to today’s Global Human Rights Movements. The purpose is to create a safe space for visitors to explore the fundamental rights of all human beings so that they leave inspired and empowered to join the ongoing dialogue about human rights in their communities.


The National Center for Civil and Human Rights harnesses Atlanta’s legacy of civil rights to strengthen the worldwide movement for human rights. Atlanta played a unique leadership role in the modern American Civil Rights Movement. Through harnessing Atlanta’s legacy and galvanizing the corporate, faith-based, public -sector and university communities, The Center will serve as the ideal place to reflect on the past, transform the present and inspire the future.


The Center was first imagined by civil rights legends Evelyn Lowery and former United Nations Ambassador Andrew Young and was launched by former Mayor Shirley Franklin. The effort gained broad-based corporate and community support to become one of the few places in the world educating visitors on the bridge between the American Civil Rights Movement and contemporary Human Rights Movements around the world.

Established in 2007, The Center’s groundbreaking 43,000-square-foot facility is located on Pemberton Place,® adjacent to the World of Coca-Cola and the Georgia Aquarium, on land donated by the Coca-Cola Company.



Brown vs Board of Education

The NCCHR tells a story broader than the American civil rights movement, linking that movement to the international current of human rights reform that took inspiration in Atlanta. The main exhibits include: the King papers on the first floor, the second floor main entrance, open space and mural, the lunch counter, interactive TV displays, Freedom Rider Bus, and stained glass portraits of four girls killed during violence in Alabama, while the third floor showcases the global human rights footprint with intimate cone-shaped movie theaters and a villains and champions exhibit.


In 1948, shortly after World War II, a set of basic principles was established and placed before the United Nations (UN) declaring the inalienable rights of all people around the world and attempting to document the lessons learned from past decades of violence and injustice. The document, known as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), contains thirty articles, which serve as a set of principles for governments to use to remain accountable for their duty to protect the rights and freedoms of all people. The 30 articles can be viewed on the website at


Russell Moody Holder Joint Venture

H.J. Russell & Company, C.D. Moody Construction Company and Holder Construction Company, three Atlanta-based construction firms teamed in a joint venture, won the competitive at-risk proposal process to provide construction management services to build the Center for Civil and Human Rights. The Russell, Moody, Holder Joint Venture is charged with executing the visionary design of the Freelon/HOK architectural design team. Michael Russell, Dave Moody and Tommy Holder share a long history of collaboration on major projects of this size and scope. They have worked on more than 50 joint ventures, including urban projects and cultural institutions.


NCHR logo

The Center at a Glance:

  • Opened: June 23, 2014
  • Location: 100 Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd., Atlanta, GA 30313
  • Hours: 10 am-5pm, Monday-Sunday
  • Cost: $75 Million
  • Size: 42,000 SF
  • Parking: Available at the Georgia Aquarium or at the World of Coke
  • Website: | Phone: (678) 999-8990
  • Tickets: $15 | Senior/Students/Educators: $13 | Children (3-12): $10
  • Military Family: Military Adult – $7.50 | Military Senior: $6.50 | Military Youth: $5
  • FREE Tickets: Children (2 and under); Military (Active & Retired)
  • Programs: Human Trafficking presented by the Women’s Solidarity Initiative

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