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Pace Partners with Center for Civil and Human Rights

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On Dec. 15, Pace administration and faculty members toured the new National Center for Civil and Human Rights in anticipation of an exciting new partnership between the two institutions. According to a Pace press release, “The multi-year agreement will create a collaborative environment between the Center and Pace Academy’s faculty, staff and students, providing opportunities in the areas of education, special programming, customized experiences and professional development.” This partnership is part of a heightened emphasis on diversity education for students and training for teachers at Pace following Mr. Rick Holifield’s arrival as Director of Diversity.

The truly unique aspect of the partnership is the opportunities that it will create for students. Upper School students will be able to intern at the Center, and admission for students and chaperones on Pace-sponsored visits are included in the partnership. The partnership also provides for discounted tickets for students to attend on their own with a Pace ID, along with 15% discounts for family memberships.

Before winter break, Mr. Carson’s class visited the Center and enjoyed the vivid displays, especially the “Rolls Down Like Water” gallery which focuses on the American Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Students donned headphones and sat at a lunch counter that recreates the horrendous treatment that people of color experienced when protesting segregation through sit-ins. One reviewer called the powerful lunch counter simulator a “soul-wrenching experience.” The interactive displays and intense design of each gallery sends a message, drawing on cues from different color palettes and bold graphics to transport the viewer into what seems like a totally different world, making it an experience like no other in Atlanta.

Students will find that the Center revitalizes the topic of race in society by shedding light on progress that has already occurred while also forging a path for future progress. It also brings to the fore through emotionally gripping visuals the multitude of human rights struggles around the globe. Physics teacher Dr. John Pearson visited the Center on Dec. 15. “I liked that the Center had displays that presented the spectrum of the struggle of human and civil rights that people have faced and are still facing today,” he said. With regards to the overall experience of the visit, he said that “the visit reminded [him] that this could not compare to the people who struggled and still struggle daily.”

“Pace Academy and The Center share a deep commitment to fostering a love of learning, promoting innovation and attaining high standards of achievement,” said Mr. Holifield. Keeping the missions of both organizations in mind, the future looks bright for the partnership. The Center for Civil and Human Rights is located near the World of Coca-Cola and the Georgia Aquarium, adjacent to Centennial Olympic Park. Make sure to check them out at civilandhumanrights.org.