National Civil Rights Museum Remembers Dr. King on His 84th Birthday

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Museum to Feature Freedom’s Sisters exhibit and Education Equity Social Media Campaign

Remembering the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on what would have been his 84th birthday, the National Civil Rights Museum will encourage community service on the national holiday January 21st. The museum will hold its annual food drive and blood drive, but it will also add to its holiday events the Freedom’s Sisters exhibition and a social media campaign to encourage community involvement in education.

With the holiday theme “Education Equity: Creating a Movement in the Community,” the museum will welcome thousands of visitors on the holiday during extended hours of 8:00am – 6:00pm. Because of the large crowd, the museum will not offer balcony tours but will enhance the experience with the new exhibit opening.

Celebrating 20 African American women who have fought for equality for people of color, Freedom’s Sisters is a dynamic, interactive multimedia exhibition that includes the stories of historic 19th century figures and contemporary leaders. Nineteenth-century women featured in the exhibit include Ida B. Wells and Mary Church Terrell, both of whom have ties to Memphis. Contemporary figures include poet Sonia Sanchez, journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault and Myrlie Evers-Williams. Widow of civil rights leader Medgar Evers, Mrs. Evers-Williams is one of the museum’s 2009 Freedom Award honorees and she will deliver the invocation at the 2013 Presidential Inauguration on the King Holiday. An exhibit media preview is scheduled for Friday, January 18, at 10:30am.

Originally part of a traveling exhibit created by the Cincinnati Museum Center and Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, Freedom’s Sisters was first featured at the museum in 2009, but this time it is here to stay. The exhibit is made possible by a grant by Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company and will be housed in an adjacent building courtesy of E P Ventures, LLC at Huling Avenue and Mulberry Street.

The museum will launch a social media video campaign that examines the disparities in access to quality education in America across socioeconomic barriers. The campaign offers ideas on how teachers, parents, students and community members can become involved in helping students overcome achievement obstacles. To engage in the virtual conversation, search the campaign “Education as a Civil Right” on Facebook or its Twitter hashtag #EDasaCivilRight. More information is available at http://www.educationasacivilright.org

The annual King Holiday Food Drive offers the incentive to donate canned good items and receive $1 off the $3 King Holiday admission. The food drive will benefit the Mid-South Food Bank, which serves 31 counties in Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas.

Visitors can also receive free museum admission for up to four people by donating a pint of blood to Lifeblood Mid-South Regional Blood Centers either at their mobile unit at the museum or any of their centers on the King Holiday. The museum offer is valid January 21 -28.

Outdoor King Holiday activities at the museum include Skype conversations about the significance of the holiday with the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in Birmingham, AL, and the Levine Museum of the New South in Charlotte, NC. Musical and dramatic performances will be featured on the main stage, and children can take advantage of arts, crafts and storytelling to learn more about Dr. King and character development. The museum’s holiday events are sponsored by Ford Motor Company.

KING HOLIDAY SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:

9:00 – Musical Opening by the Navy Band (Millington, TN), Education as a Civil Right Social Media Campaign (ongoing)
9:30 – 50 People, 1 Question Video Interviews
10:00–Diamond Praise Team Dancers
10:15–Social Media Prize Giveaway
10:30–Meet Jabberblabber and Pinelope (mascots)
11:00–Hattiloo Theatre performs “Mahalia”
12:00–50 People, 1 Question Video Interviews
12:30–Patty Carreras storytelling “Anansi the Spider”
12:50–Social Media Prize Giveaway
1:00 – Skype Conversation with Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Birmingham, AL
1:30 – Hattiloo Theatre performs “Mahalia”
2:00 – Patty Carreras storytelling “Anansi the Spider”
2:20 – Social Media Prize Giveaway
2:30 – Skype Conversation with Levine Museum of the New South, Charlotte, NC
3:00 – Patty Carreras storytelling “Anansi the Spider”
3:30 – 50 People, 1 Question Video Interviews, Final Social Media Prize Giveaway
4:00 – Closing Remarks

In addition, community programs Stand for Children, Shelby County Head Start, Mid-South Literacy Council, United Way of the Mid-South, Memphis Public Libraries & Information Centers and Parent and Community Engagement (Memphis City Schools) will offer resource materials to the public. Community advocacy organizations SCLC, NAACP and AARP will also be onsite with information.

For more information about the King Holiday events and the Freedom’s Sisters exhibition, visit http://www.civilrightsmuseum.org or call (901) 521-9699 x2223.

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