Obama may benefit rights museum

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The planned Center for Civil & Human Rights in downtown Atlanta might receive a boost from the election of the nation’s first African-American president.

The gay-inclusive center, set to open in 2011 at Centennial Olympic Park, could benefit from Obama’s election as it works to raise $125 million in private dollars for construction, center officials told the Atlanta Business Chronicle. The center’s director, Doug Shipman, has said that the center will include gay and lesbian issues in “a couple of different places.”

Doug Shipman, the executive director of the nonpartisan CCHR, said Obama’s election will help focus attention on how far America has come and Atlanta’s role as the birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement.

“Obama’s election, it will inspire a re-evaluation of the history, and I think it will also inspire people to want to dig into the history and connect Obama’s election back to [the Civil Rights Movement],” he said. “I think visitors will see an arc there of the story.”

The Obama campaign’s unprecedented success at fundraising could serve as a model for generating donations, Shipman said. The Obama campaign relied as much on cobbling together small individual donations as it did large gifts.

“It is something we’re talking a lot about,” Shipman said.


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