About The Institute

About The Institute

Our Mission

MISSION: 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.

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

VALUES: 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

Join Our Team

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 careers page.

Awards and Recognition


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” Awardfrom t he 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

Board of Directors

  • Isaac Cooper, IMC Financial Consulting Chairman
  • Danny Markstein, Markstein, Vice Chair
  • Nyesha Cheyenne Black, PhD., Noire Analytics Secretary
  • Angela D. McKenzie, Regions Bank, Treasurer
  • Carlos Alemán, Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama
  • Tamera Coyne-Beasley, MD, University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Alice Bowsher, Historic Preservationist, Architectural Historian, Writer & Editor
  • William H. Burgess, III, The Burgess Group
  • Robert Dickerson, Birmingham Business Resource Center
  • Deontée Gordon, TechBirmingham
  • Daryl R. Grant, KPMG Advisory Services
  • Anthony C. Hood, Ph.D., First Horizon Bank
  • Rosilyn Houston, Santander US
  • Natalie Kelly, Brasfield & Gorrie, LLC
  • Jonathan Porter, Alabama Power
  • John D. Saxon, John D. Saxon, P.C.
  • Arian Simone, The Fearless Fund
  • David A. Thomas, Starbucks
  • Mashonda Taylor, Woodlawn United
  • Rev. Gwendolyn C. Webb, Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church/Foot Soldiers International, Inc.
  • Rev. Thomas L. Wilder Jr., Bethel Baptist Church
  • Nick Willis, PNC
  • Odessa Woolfolk Chair Emerita
  • Mike Oatridge Immediate Past Chair
  • DeJuana Thompson President / CEO
  • Mayor Randall Woodfin, Ex Officio
  • Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth, 1922-2011


  • Association of African American Museums
  • Smithsonian Affiliates
  • American Alliance of Museums
  • National Park Service
  • The Alabama African American Civil Rights Heritage Sites Consortium, Inc.
  • Alabama State Department of Education via the Nita M. Lowery 21st CCLC
  • Hudson K-8 School
  • Oxmoor Valley Elementary Schoo