"The right to assemble, demonstrate and march peaceably along the highways and streets in an orderly manner should be commensurate with the enormity of the wrongs that are being protested and petitioned against."
– Judge Frank M. Johnson Jr.
– Judge Frank M. Johnson Jr.
An international gathering place focused on education and understanding, placed upon the sacred soil that gave rise to the modern Civil Rights Movement.
In the autumn of 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama, a local seamstress and two young men new to the city, one the minister of a small congregation and the other a newly appointed federal judge, were placed center stage, destined to change the arc of history. The call for social justice, civic engagement and courageous leadership continues today, with the Global Forum for Freedom and Justice serving as an international educational resource for current and future generations to build upon the courage of Rosa Parks, the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the decisions of Judge Frank M. Johnson Jr. Freedom and justice are the common threads of our American experience; without one, we cannot experience the other.
Turn on the news, pick up a paper or scan the latest headlines on your social media feeds and it becomes immediately apparent that we cannot sit idly by while the lessons of the past are challenged on a daily basis. A review of the international landscape reveals the need for a nonpolitical presentation of the historic and ongoing struggle for human rights. Currently, no modern facility exists to operate as both an educational and interpretive center for human dignity, mutual respect and equal justice under the law. This review has become a call to action for the creation of an international center in Birmingham to serve the citizenry of the world. More than a mere destination, the Forum will be a catalyst for connecting cities around the world to new ideas and insights concerning human and civil rights. As the gateway to the U.S. Civil Rights Trail connecting 15 states, and with the Forum's ability to connect global cities through technology, our impact will be felt far beyond Alabama.
The Global Forum for Freedom and Justice is part of the historic Civil Rights District in downtown Birmingham and the gateway to the newly developed U.S. Civil Rights Trail. The Forum envisions a center that will provide a digital repository for research, learning and archives, and is exploring a relationship with the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Institution and the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration to become the leading facility for that purpose.
– Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The Forum will be a global classroom and international destination focused on civil and human rights. And it will be the leading educational resource for corporate enrichment, law enforcement training, personal development and community engagement. The Forum will provide students, teachers, business leaders, organizations, judges and those from any vocation or vantage point with a grid for distance learning using modern technology such as augmented reality. The result would be a hands-on experience leading to meaningful personal and professional growth. Experiences and conversations generated by the Forum will continue the efforts of King, Parks and Johnson to change the world – change that will solidify the undeniable fact that freedom and justice go hand in hand.
– Rosa Parks
Now, more than ever, we need to continue to amplify the lessons taught to us by the pioneers of the Civil Rights Movement, to be a catalyst for continuing dialogue on human and civil rights. But we need your help to make this dream possible. We have the opportunity to create a living legacy for future generations, to build a bridge from our past to a brighter future.
The Global Fourm for Freedom and Justice will not only create a new focal point for meaningful dialogue internationally, but it will also have a substantial impact on Alabama. It will be an economic engine with the ability to change the perception of Alabama in the eyes of the world and have a lasting economic impact that will be measured in jobs, growth and greater prosperity for all Alabamians.
More than a history lesson, the Global Forum for Freedom and Justice will truly be a catalyst for positive change in complicated times. Join us in our mission to help freedom and justice ring in Alabama and around the world.