Bookzilla Loves ATL: Bookzilla Loves The Center for Civil and Human Rights

Aug 21, 2015

Bookzilla Loves ATL is a weekly blog series documenting Bookzilla’s adventures around the city of Atlanta. DBF’s curious Book Monster will visit various Atlanta-based organizations who are taking a unique approach to their industries and services, all the while showing love for their hometown of Atlanta. Be sure to check back each week to follow Bookzilla’s explorations!


Bookzilla Loves The Center for Civil and Human Rights

Bookzilla at the Center for Civil and Human Rights

Bookzilla stands outside the iconic outer exterior where you can see beautiful downtown Atlanta.

Established in 2007, The Center for Civil and Human Rights (The Center) located in downtown Atlanta connects the American Civil Rights Movement to the Global Human Rights Movements through touch-screen technology, powerful videos, music, original recordings and individual stories of courage. The Center serves as the exclusive public venue for the Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection, a rotating display of 13,000 artifacts that convey the profound impact of King's life and legacy. The 43,000-square-foot facility neighbors the World of Coca-Cola and the Georgia Aquarium.

Embodying the spirit of Atlanta, this award-winning and must-see destination tells the stories of strength and inspiration throughout its beautiful exhibitions. To celebrate The Center, Bookzilla took a humbling tour of the museum and spoke with vice president of marketing, Judith Service Montier.

Bookzilla in front of the Paula Scher lobby mural

The well-recognized Paula Scher lobby mural appears right when you enter The Center and represents different parts of the museum.

Tell us about yourself, and what you do for The National Center for Civil and Human Rights?

My name is Judith Service Montier and I am vice president of Marketing for The Center where I directed the public relations launch of The Center’s grand opening on June 23, 2014. I’m responsible for helping to drive revenue through brand management, strategic communications, public relations, group marketing, advertising and directing the organization’s digital presence. Prior to coming to The Center I served as Vice President of Marketing and Communications for United Way of Greater Atlanta. I also served as the director of Marketing and Corporate Sponsorship for the National Black Arts Festival, the entertainment manager of the Olympic Village for the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games and I worked for superstar Diana Ross. I am a graduate of Dartmouth College. I’m proud to serve on the board of the Atlanta Press Club, C.H.O.I.C.E.S. (Center for Helping Obesity in Children End Successfully) and the Rialto Center for the Arts. I’m also an alumna of Leadership Atlanta, class of 2013 (The Best Class Ever). My husband, Juan Montier, is an interior architect and boutique caterer and we have two sons, Monty and Austin. We are members of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church and reside in Decatur, GA.

Bookzilla with Judith

Judith is a long time supporter of civil and human rights. She took the time to show Bookzilla through The Center and its exhibits.

How would you describe The Center’s mission?

The mission of The Center is to empower people to take the protection of the rights of every human personally. We do this by educating and inspiring people through our immersive, interactive exhibits. Our three exhibitions, Rolls Down Like Water: The American Civil Rights Movement, Spark of Conviction: The Global Human Rights Movement and Voice to the Voiceless: The Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection allow visitors to have individualized and unique experiences in discovering how they can make a difference in creating a more just and humane world.

No, no we are not satisfied and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. inspires Bookzilla with his powerful words.

What does The Center bring to Atlanta as a community?

The Center is a powerful touchstone that reinforces Atlanta’s legacy in one of the most significant and transformational periods in American history, the American Civil Rights Movement. By connecting the past to the present with an eye toward the future, The Center serves as a convener and provides an inclusive forum for education, discovery and ongoing discussions on class, race, gender, identity and other injustices that impact us all. The past twelve months alone have clearly demonstrated the importance and relevance of The Center. Now, more than ever, we need places where our local, national and international communities can come together for civil dialogue, on difficult issues, with respect and appreciation for our differences. The Center was created for this very purpose.

Bookzilla hugging young girl

Bookzilla was able to meet tons of awesome young book lovers during his visit to The Center!

Tell us something most visitors might not know about The Center.

The Center has a Family Guide, Across Generations, on our website www.civilandhumanrights.org that provides visitors with children age-appropriate tools to help them navigate the content of The Center. This valuable tool has been proven to enhance the experience of The Center while fostering multi-generational dialogue.

Bookzilla on app

The Center offers a free, interactive app filled with information about exhibits, tickets, and the institution’s history. You can even hover over the Paula Scher lobby mural for extra information!

How often do exhibitions at The Center change?

The Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection rotates every 3–4 months. We also have a temporary exhibition space that rotates every 4–6 months. While the Spark of Conviction: Global Human Rights Exhibition is updated on an annual basis, The Civil Rights exhibition is permanent. The Center offers dynamic and relevant programs and events including film screenings, family activities, panels, workshops and symposiums to continuously engage our community.

Bookzilla watches the famous March on Washington speech

Bookzilla watches a powerful video about the famous March on Washington speech, better known as the “I have a dream” speech given by Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1963.

What makes The Center unique compared to other museums or educational institutions?

The Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection rotates every 3–4 months. We also have a temporary exhibition space that rotates every 4–6 months. While the Spark of Conviction: Global Human Rights Exhibition is updated on an annual basis, The Civil Rights exhibition is permanent. The Center offers dynamic and relevant programs and events including film screenings, family activities, panels, workshops and symposiums to continuously engage our community.

Bookzilla with interactive map

Bookzilla views an interactive map of African-American institutions in Atlanta.

How can Atlanta community members get involved with The Center?

The Atlanta community can get involved in multiple ways. Volunteering is one of the best ways to get involved. The Center is very grateful for all the volunteers that play such a large role in the museum. People in the community can also sign up for membership which gives members unlimited free admission for the year, exclusive e-newsletters with a calendar of events, member-only previews of events and programs, and special discounts on programs, events, additional tickets, and items at the gift shop.

Bookzilla in global human rights section of The Center with visitor

A visitor all the way from Oregon reads along with Bookzilla in the global human rights section of The Center.

What is the best way to stay up-to-date on news about The Center?

You can get updates about happenings at The Center via our monthly e-newsletter, The Spark which is free to subscribe to on our website. Another good way to stay up-to-date is through our various social media platforms. We post all of our information about events on the Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest accounts (@ctr4chr). We also post about topics such as the celebrities visiting the museum, current events, event spaces, etc.

Bookzilla listening to a Freedom Rider's story

Bookzilla listens to a Freedom Rider’s story about how he rode buses into the segregated South to test an earlier Supreme Court ruling that banned racial discrimination in interstate travel.

If you could recommend one book about the history of civil and human rights in the United States, what would it be?

That’s a tough one as there are so many outstanding books that chronicle the history of civil and human rights in the United States. My recommendation however, especially for younger readers, is Walking with the Wind: A Memoir of the Movement by John Lewis. John Lewis is a living icon whose story is the epitome of courage and triumph.

The Center provided Bookzilla with an eye-opening experience. He can’t wait to go back!