The National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta opens to the public on June 23, 2014, and one recent Oglethorpe graduate, Cedric Floyd ’13, has been proud to be a part of it, and recognizes the historic significance.
First envisioned by legendary civil rights leaders Evelyn Lowry and former United Nations Ambassador Andrew Young, the National Center for Civil and Human Rights was launched from idea toward reality by former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin in 2003. The Center aims to “empower people to take the protection of every human’s rights personally through sharing the stories of courage and struggle.” Plus, it’s unique because it’s one of the only cultural attractions in the world to connect the American Civil Rights Movement to the Global Human Rights Movement. Those two intertwining movements captivated Cedric and drove him to seek out an internship with the Center.
Early on, Cedric performed administrative tasks, which he says helped him to better understand nonprofits and how they work. This experience allowed him to realize the difference between an initial idea and the business reality—how an idea or proposal is executed.
Cedric was inspired to voice his idea to capture a “pre-history” of the NCCHR and to pitch that he was the right person to do it. His proposal was accepted and Cedric was tapped to write the museum’s pre-history.
“I am covering the beginning in 2003 to the approval of the mayor to opening day. I would like to write about the challenges of the museum, the varying opinions of whether this museum would work or not, and the influence on people day by day.” The story of obstacles conquered in order to open the museum was discussed during an orientation. Cedric decided to voice the importance of writing about the pre-history of the museum because he felt visitors needed to know the effort it took in order to establish the NCCHR. “The best moment during my internship was asking to write the pre-history of the center and receiving the approval.”
Cedric also enjoys working alongside his NCCHR coworkers and credits his Oglethorpe education with helping him to feel at ease working alongside diverse groups of people. “Before Oglethorpe, I didn’t understand how people from different backgrounds could come together for a certain purpose,” he said. “While I was at Oglethorpe, I saw firsthand how many different people worked side by side in a harmonious community.” He continued, “When you meet someone from Oglethorpe, either a freshman or alum in their fifties, they all have their own imaginative spark and (their own) way to see the world.”
Opening day for the National Center of Civil and Human Rights is June 23. Learn more.