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BCRI Partners with the Alabama Humanities Foundation to Provide Youth-Centered Program




Birmingham, Alabama—The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI) is collaborating with the Alabama Humanities Foundation (AHF)to provide a youth program that will explore the humanities discipline of art history. The event on Thursday, June 11 at BCRI, will allow students to study works of art that convey civil rights themes. The partnership between BCRI and AHF seeks to educate, engage and assist high-school students in thought-provoking discussions about civil rights topics and their relationship to the humanities.


BCRI’s Legacy Youth Leadership Program participants will join AHF’s SUPER Emerging Scholars participants for the one-day program. Dr. Amalia Amaki, Professor of Art History and Curator of the Paul R. Jones Collection of American Art at the University of Alabama, will lecture to the group on works from BCRI’s own Paul R. Jones Collection. Dr. Jacqueline Wood, Acting Associate Director for the African-American Studies Program and Associate Professor of English at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, will lead a discussion on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter from Birmingham Jail and works by Amiri Baraka.



About BCRI’s Legacy Youth Leadership Program

The Legacy Youth Leadership Program (LYLP) utilizes the Institute’s mission, collections, programs, and partnerships to engage area high school students in a series of training experiences and internship opportunities that will help them develop into life-long learners, productive citizens, and community leaders.  LYLP’s objectives are to: (1) integrate diverse learning styles and encourage critical thinking, (2) promote student confidence, self-esteem, character, and community involvement through active participation, and (3) involve students as leaders in project planning and implementation.   Upon acceptance into the program, students are expected to attend a series of ten (10) weekly participatory workshops. The workshops will help build students’ knowledge base of BCRI’s permanent galleries, archival holdings, and public programs through three segments: BCRI exhibitions, African American history and culture, and leadership development. Students will also be expected to attend BCRI public programs as well as participate in college visits. In the summer of 2009, students who successfully complete the program will be employed as Docents (tour guides) at BCRI.  LYLP alumni are expected to continue to serve as BCRI volunteers throughout their high school tenure. 


About AHF’s SUPER Emerging Scholars

The SUPER Emerging Scholars (SES) Institute, a residential workshop and part of AHF’s SUPER (School and University Partners for Educational Renewal), is one week in length held June 7-13, 2009, and offers specialized academic enrichment in the humanities. The Institute will assist upper-level high-school students from underserved communities in the development of skills necessary for success in secondary and post-secondary education.  SES participants will study the works of Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington and Ralph Ellison, as well as contemporary artists including Sonia Sanchez and the late Tupac Shakur. They will also receive intensive, content-rich instruction in national and Alabama-based African-American history, literature and the arts. As a complement to the curriculum, students will participate in interactive trips to various landmark sites in the state. While the pilot SES Institute is offered only to students in Jefferson and Greene Counties, institutes in subsequent years will be aimed at underserved communities statewide.


About the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

In honor of the courageous struggle against racism and segregation in the South, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI) was erected as a monumental guidepost for reconciliation and equality for all mankind.  Its mission is to promote civil and human rights worldwide through education.  Its vision is to be the premier educational center for understanding, healing and respect for all.   Since opening in 1992, the Institute has used multimedia to enhance its facility while telling the story of the American Civil Rights Movement.  In January 2009, BCRI completed the first major renovation of its museum galleries by expanding its story beyond the Birmingham Movement and identifying gains made in the city since that time. The Richard Arrington, Jr. Resource Gallery houses the facility’s Oral History recording studio and provides computer terminals containing excerpts from BCRI’s extensive Oral History Collection and links to related human rights organizations.  Launched in June 2009, the new Web site continues the Institute’s goal of reaching an international audience.


About the Alabama Humanities Foundation

The Alabama Humanities Foundation is a nonprofit organization funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (of which AHF is the state affiliate), as well as by corporate and individual donors. AHF is dedicated to the promotion and celebration of the humanities throughout the state of Alabama and, to that end, conducts its own statewide programs and awards grants, on a competitive basis, to nonprofit organizations for humanities projects. For more information on this or other AHF programs, please call (205) 558-3980 or visit



 Contact:                 Angela Fisher Hall, Vice President of Publications and Special Projects

Phone:                    (205) 328-9696, ext. 211

Fax:                        (205) 251-6104


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