THE FOUNDING OF THE NATIONAL CIVIL RIGHTS MUSEUM: In 1968, the attention of the nation was focused on the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. It was on April 4th of that year that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. This event is often considered one of the most pivotal in the history of our democracy. The aftershock plunged the Lorraine Motel into a long and steep decline. In the early 1980s a group of prominent Memphians formed the Martin Luther King Memorial Foundation to save the Lorraine. Through fundraising efforts and with support from the City of Memphis, Shelby County, and the State of Tennessee, funds were raised to create a civil rights center within the Lorraine Mote... read more THE FOUNDING OF THE NATIONAL CIVIL RIGHTS MUSEUM: In 1968, the attention of the nation was focused on the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. It was on April 4th of that year that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. This event is often considered one of the most pivotal in the history of our democracy. The aftershock plunged the Lorraine Motel into a long and steep decline. In the early 1980s a group of prominent Memphians formed the Martin Luther King Memorial Foundation to save the Lorraine. Through fundraising efforts and with support from the City of Memphis, Shelby County, and the State of Tennessee, funds were raised to create a civil rights center within the Lorraine Motel designed to help the public better understand the history of the American Civil Rights Movement and the impact of the Movement on furthering the ideals outlined in America's founding principles. Key among these ideals is freedom, equality and justice. On September 28, 1991, the National Civil Rights Museum opened its doors to visitors. TODAY: The National Civil Rights Museum envisions a society where human rights, racial and economic justice are extended to all. Our mission is thus: The National Civil Rights Museum located at the historic Lorraine Motel, honors and preserves the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King. We chronicle the American civil rights movement and tell the story of the ongoing struggle for human rights. We educate and serve as a catalyst to inspire action to create positive social change. Our three-year strategic directional goals were developed to be changed if the environment dictates. Little did we know about the virus that would impact every corner person in every corner of our world. Goal 1: Brand Reach and Development The Museum's current campus includes the Lorraine Motel, the Young & Morrow Boarding House, Founders' Park, and an administrative office building which includes two rental units. As the Museum has been one of the primary anchors for the South Main District, we want to ensure we make the most of our existing assets, but also seek opportunities to expand the Museum's real estate holdings to advance the mission. Likewise, we must broaden our use of digital resources to reach significantly larger audiences. Virtual and place-based audiences should grow over the next three years. Goal 2: Education and Institutional leadership The Museum is a reliable source for education and training on issues related to mission. We will encourage all students to connect to this history and provide resource and training assistance for educators to teach this history. We will regularly engages thought leaders and scholars in adding to the body of knowledge about related topics of social justice. Our home community of Memphis, Tennessee, provides us with the perfect laboratory to proof methods to effectively engage community to address identified issues. Using credible data, the Museum should research, assess, and publicize/distribute data on social justice issues. The Museum will continue to serve as a convener, putting teeth in its role as "the new public square", by calling the question, 'where we go from here? Goal 3: Technology NCRM was intentional in incorporating interactive technology when it renovated the Museum experience in 2014. We must continue to be intentional in considering technological efficiencies to meet our mission, to provide superb guest services, and to maintain and grow our donor base and audience. Employing digital communication in all aspects of our work will be increasingly critical. The Museum must develop a philosophy and mindset of continuous improvement and creativity that elevates it as a leader in the cultural community. We must be willing to be a dynamic organization that, while rooted in the static historic context, presents a guest experience in a fluid, 21st century manner that allows the information to be easily understood and converted to action. Goal 4: Development In addition to the traditional mix of grant funding and earned income from admissions and retail, the Museum will move forward in identifying potential funders who want to partner on a variety of content development areas, i.e., K-12 education access; teacher training; corporate/nonprofit DEI work; public sector anti-bias work. These partnerships must provide a return on investment for the funder and add to the body of practical knowledge on the subject area. In order to continue to develop a sustainability model we must pursue a planned giving strategy that engages individuals and wealth advisors. Goal 5: Staff Development Over the past 18 months, the Museum has invested time and resources to design a performance management system that will help employees understand how their job impacts the organization's success. The organization culture must be collaborative and promote continual learning, serving as a pipeline for diverse individuals to enter the Museum field. Employees must view both internal and external stakeholders as customers and believe the Museum invests in both their well-being and professional development. Goal 6: Board Development The board of the NCRM is one of its greatest assets. Going forward it will be important that the board encompass the necessary skills that will advance mission and this strategic plan. The values we identify as being necessary for the organization must be fully embraced by its governing board. Additionally, the board must meet AAM accreditation standards.
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