The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum Tuesday received a commitment from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation for a $2.3 million endowment.
The endowment will go toward the Mississippi Department of Archives and History’s development of educational programs for the Civil Rights Museum.
The $2.3 million will fund a partnership between Mississippi Department of Archives and History, the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation and the Medgar & Myrlie Evers Institute.
The Civil Rights Museum will educate visitors about the struggle for civil rights and provide a venue where visitors may come together to engage in public dialogue and programs that foster reconciliation and promote healing, said the Battle Creek, Mich.-based Kellogg Foundation in its announcement.
The museum endowment will fund numerous educational initiatives in the lead-up to and after the opening of the museum, including:
·Summer teacher training programs and school workshops to prepare educators to teach an expanded civil rights curriculum and utilize the resources of the museum.
·Digitizing important historical documents from the Evers collection to be housed at the museum for use by scholars, teachers and students.
· Supporting the Medgar Wiley Evers Lecture Series throughout the state to engage communities in the museum’s programs.
Foundation President &CEO La June Montgomery Tabron said the endowment is recognition that understanding that racial equity and healing are essential “if we are going to accomplish our mission to support children, families and communities in Mississippi.
“The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum will help us all take an honest look at the past in a state that was, in so many ways, the epicenter of this struggle in our county. It’s important to heal the wounds of the past, so that we can move forward together and put racism behind us for good.”
Mississippi is one of four priority places in the United States for the foundation – along with the city of New Orleans and the states of Michigan and New Mexico. The foundation’s endowment to the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum comes one year after the foundation committed grants to 25 organizations across the state whose work focuses on setting Mississippi’s young men of color on a path to success. That $3.8 million initiative is designed to help young men of color in Mississippi by building a comprehensive network of support from birth into adulthood, developing their educational, emotional, physical and economic potential.
The Civil Rights Museum and an adjoining Mississippi History Museum are expected to open in 2017, the bicentennial of statehood.The museums, situated between North and Jefferson streets, have been under construction since last fall.
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