520 16th Street North, Birmingham, AL 35203



1-866-328-9696 or bcri@bcri.org


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Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI)


To enlighten each generation about civil and human rights by exploring our common past and working together in the present to build a better future.


We stand strong as THE CORNERSTONE of the civil rights story, a living memorial with an ongoing mission.


The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute is committed to:

  • Preserving and telling the Birmingham story
  • Being a good steward of archival and financial resources
  • Creating programs that encourage cultural awareness
  • Championing civil and human rights by facilitating an atmosphere of dialogue and understanding

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, part of the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument and an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is a cultural and educational research center that promotes a comprehensive understanding for the significance of civil rights developments in Birmingham.  Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2017, BCRI reaches more than 150,000 individuals each year though award-winning programs and services.


 Written by Board Chair Emerita, Odessa Woolfolk



Received American Alliance of Museums Accreditation

• Fewer than 5% of museums have this designation

 One of only seven museums accredited in Alabama       


Received National Coming Up Taller Award
for After-School Program at the White House


Awarded National Medal for Museum and Library Science
at the White House
Joined Smithsonian Institution Affiliation
  • One of only three museums in Alabama with designation


Named Alabama Attraction of the Year by the
Alabama Tourism Department
Collaborated in Development of the
Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail


 Named by BudgetTravel as One of the 15 Places in the Country That Children Should Visit Before They’re 15

 Recognized as the #1 Birmingham Attraction

(out of 31) by TripAdvisor

Named as One of the Top  10Attractions for the Nation’s Children to Visit by Yahoo®Travel

Joined the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience

Featured in New York Times Annual Museums Issue

Named with the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church and Kelly Ingram Park as Alabama Attraction of the Year by the Alabama Tourism Department


First Organization to Receive “I AM A MAN” Award
from the April 4th Foundation in Memphis, TN

Featured in National Geographic’s Book, “100 Places
That Can Change Your Child’s Life: From Your Back
Yard to the Ends of the Earth”

Chosen to House the Congressional Gold Medal
Posthumously Awarded to the 4 Little Girls Killed During
the 1963 Bombing of 16th Street Baptist Church


Featured as the #2 attraction (out of 79) in Birmingham by TripAdviser.


Designated as part of a Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument, along with the A.G.Gaston Motel, Kelly Ingram Park, The 16th Street Baptist Church and Bethel Baptist Church.

Received the Director’s Community Leadership Award from the FBI

Birmingham Timeline


David Vann

David Vann

Birmingham Mayor David Vann mentions in a weekly news conference that a civil rights museum would be an appropriate project for the city.


Birmingham City Council

Birmingham City Council endorses Mayor Vann’s recommends the creation of a civil rights museum.


Dr. Richard Arrington, Jr.

Mayor Vann is defeated in his bid for re-election by Dr. Richard Arrington, Jr., Birmingham’s first African American mayor. Birmingham City Council adopts a resolution authorizing the mayor to form a museum committee to conduct a feasibility study.


Horace Huntley

Mayor Arrington appoints former mayor, David Vann, and UAB historian Horace Huntley to co-chair a Civil Rights Museum Study Committee. The Committee recommends that the city incorporate a Board of Directors and acquire property for a museum.  The City of Birmingham begins acquiring property for a civil rights museum.


Mission Set

Mayor Richard Arrington, Jr. appoints a Civil Rights Institute Task Force to create a mission statement and plan for the new facility.  Odessa Woolfolk, Director of the UAB Center for Urban Affairs, and Frank Young, Chairman of the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, serve as co-chairs of the Task Force.  The Task Force..Read More


Schematics Approved

Civil Rights Institute Task Force approves schematic drawings and a program statement developed by the architectural firm Bond Ryder James and museum consultants, the American History Workshop.  Mayor Richard Arrington, Jr. authorizes plans for a Civil Rights Cultural District, including a renovated Kelly Ingram Park, a Jazz Hall of Fame in..Read More


Revenue Bonds

The Historical Preservation Authority of Birmingham issues revenue bonds for financing a portion of the cost of redesigning Kelly Ingram Park and constructing the Civil Rights Institute.


Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and the City of Birmingham enter into a funding and management agreement for both the Institute and the Carver properties, which include the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame.  November 14, 1992The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute unveils a statue of Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth sculpted by John Rhoden..Read More

Grand Opening

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute opens to the public.


It takes a strong team of individuals to make the programs of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute available to the public.  BCRI is operated and governed by a board of directors and a staff of full and part-time professionals and interns working together to fulfill the BCRI’s mission.

If you are interested in working at BCRI, visit our job openings page.

BCRI Board of Directors

Mike Oatridge: Chair 

Walter Body: First Vice Chair

Janice Kelsey: Secretary

Thomas L. Wilder, Jr.: Treasurer

Doug Jones: Immediate Past Chair


Jeffrey Bayer

Isaac Cooper

Bing Edwards

Michele Elrod

Rosilyn Houston
Ann Huckstep

Danny Markstein

J. John Oros, Jr.
Jonathan Porter

Isabel Rubio


W. Frank Topping

Cameron Vowell



Odessa Woolfolk
Chair Emerita

Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth

Mayor Randall Woodfin
Ex Officio
 Andrea L. Taylor
President & CEO



President & CEO:  Andrea L. Taylor

Vice President of Finance and Operations: Carol A. Wells

Vice President, Development: Vacant

Head of Communications: Melissa Snow-Clark

Development Consultant: Patrick Packer

Head of Archives and Technology: Wayne Coleman

Coordinator of Youth Programs: Angela Michelle Craig

Information Systems Administrator: Michael Holland

Building/Grounds Superintendent: David W. Davis

Manager Security and Safety Leon Davis

Operations Manager LeRoy Simmons

Gift Store Manager: Carolyn Cunningham

Outreach Coordinator and Education Manager: Charles Woods

Group Tour Coordinator: Staci McCloud

Gallery Experience Manager: Traci Jones

Membership and Ticketing Manager: Tamiika Smith

Education Assistant: Joi Brown

Education Consultant: Barry McNealy


Sunday: 1:00 PM – 5:00 P.M.

Tuesday – Saturday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 P.M.

Every day from MLK Day – February.