Sunday, August 1, 2004

Other dialogue centers

National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis, Tenn.

Founded in 1991

Mission: The National Civil Rights Museum is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping the public understand the lessons of the civil rights movement and its impact on the human rights movement worldwide. The museum hosts discussions and seminars on issues related to civil rights, human rights and contemporary social issues.

Annual budget: $3 million.

Site: The museum site was once the Lorraine Motel, where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968. The 40,000-square-foot museum sits on 4 acres in downtown Memphis and includes an auditorium, 19 exhibit halls, archives and a library.

The Carter Center, Atlanta

Founded in 1982

Mission: The Carter Center is a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization committed to advancing human rights and alleviating unnecessary human suffering. Founded by former President Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, its efforts range from advocating for policy changes to working side by side with the poor on health, employment, voting rights and other human rights issues. The center works in partnership with Emory University.

Annual budget: $36 million.

Site: The center is on 35 acres and includes conference facilities, offices for the Carters and staff and a chapel. It adjoins the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum.

The King Center, Atlanta

Founded in 1968

Mission: The King Center is dedicated to developing programs that educate the world on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s philosophy and methods, and to build a national and international network of organizations that promote King's vision. A primary focus is educating young people on nonviolence. The center uses its Web site, www.thekingcenter.com, to provide training on the civil rights movement.

Annual budget: Not available.

Site: Part of the Freedom Hall complex in Atlanta, the King Center includes a visitors' center with exhibits of King's life, the King Library and Archives, and King's burial place. A walkway connects the King Center to the Carter Center.

The Museum of Tolerance, Los Angeles

Founded in 1993

Mission: The Museum of Tolerance is a hands-on experiential museum that focuses on the dynamics of racism and prejudice in America, and on the history of the Holocaust. Its purpose is to challenge visitors to confront bigotry and racism. It addresses cutting-edge social issues through its Arts and Lectures Program.

Annual budget: The Museum of Tolerance shares a $13 million budget with the New York Tolerance Center. Both are branches of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles.

Site: The 165,000-square-foot museum complex includes a multimedia learning center; three theaters used for lectures, seminars and films; and a conference center.

Special section: Tour the Freedom Center
More than a museum
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A grand, bold vision for change
Challenging the barriers to freedom
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Freedom Center's bold challenge
Your voice:
'And we'll sing about freedom ...'

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