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 the National Medal for Museum and Library Service  (IMLS), the the nation’s highest honor for institutions that make significant and exceptional contributions to their communities. Since 1994, IMLS has presented the award to institutions that demonstrate extraordinary and innovative approaches to community service.


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


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

Isaac Cooper, IMC Financial Consulting


Cassandra W. Adams,  Samford University, Cumberland School of Law

Vice Chair

Danny Markstein, Markstein

Vice Chair

Richard A. Rice, The Rice Firm, LLC


Angela D. McKenzie, Regions Bank


Carlos Alemán, Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama

Tamera Coyne-Beasley, MD, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Nyesha Cheyenne Black, PhD., Noire Analytics

William H. Burgess, III, The Burgess Group

Yolanda Clayton, Alabama State University & Alabama A&M University/Clayton and Associates, LLC

Robert Dickerson, Birmingham Resource Center

Daryl R. Grant, KPMG Advisory Services

Rosilyn Houston, BBVA USA

J. John Oros Jr., Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau

Jonathan Porter, Alabama Power

John D. Saxon, John D. Saxon, P.C.

David A. Thomas, Starbucks

Rev. Gwendolyn C. Webb, Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church/Foot Soldiers International, Inc.

Rev. Thomas L. Wilder Jr., Bethel Baptist Church


Odessa Woolfolk

Chair Emerita

Mike Oatridge

Immediate Past Chair


Denise Gilmore

Special Director of Transition


Mayor Randall Woodfin

Ex Officio


Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth



Sunday: 1:00 PM – 5:00 P.M.

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












COVID-19 Update: BCRI continues to be closed in effort to contain the spread of COVID-19.Donate