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The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation announces $17 million grant to the National Center for Civil and Human Rights

$15 million of the grant will fund The Center’s new three-story West Wing.

The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation

In his memoir Good Company which was released in 2020, Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank says that “There are few things in life that bring a greater sense of satisfaction and purpose than the act of giving. In this sense, you always get more than you give. And giving is infectious—the more you do it, the more you want to do it.”

The man who spoke those words truly believes in them, and the Atlanta community and beyond has seen a lot of his givings since Blank purchased the team in 2002. In 2016, Blank donated $100,00 to the Gleason Initiative and last year announced that he was donating $300,000 and the personal proceeds from his memoir to The National Center for Civil and Human Rights. In October of last year, The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation made the largest donation in Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta history, $200 million for the Arthur M. Blank Hospital project which is expected to open its doors in 2025.

Continuing this generosity, it was announced on Thursday morning that The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation was providing a five-year, $17 million grant to the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, also known as The Center, in downtown Atlanta. As part of The Center’s expansion to add 20,000 square feet to the existing footprint and transform its programming, $15 million of the grant will fund The Center’s new three-story West Wing.

“The most effective way to make progress together as a community is to shine a light on the issues that exist and to then do something about them so that everyone can feel a sense of understanding and support,” Blank said in a statement. “We believe in the power of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights to educate, include and transform the whole of this community and this country so that together, we can create tangible, positive change.”

The new currently nameless three-story West Wing will include a 2,700 square-foot gallery on the lobby level to engage families and children, a 2,500 square-foot gallery to showcase the Without Sanctuary Collection of postcards of lynching and anti-lynching artifacts, gallery space for temporary and visiting exhibitions, and a 900 square-foot café. The top floor will feature the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Papers, which guests will experience as the culmination of their visit.

For more information about the National Center for Civil and Human Rights click here.