The International Civil Rights Center and Museum is basically planning to have a yearlong commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of the Greensboro Sit-Ins in 2020, and it’s not wasting any time kicking off that effort.

This week, the museum announced a special program for Friday, Jan. 3 –“The Seven Colors of Freedom” – which will mark the official kickoff of the events honoring the anniversary.

Museum leaders say they’re very optimistic that 2020 – with the anniversary and the events planned around it – will be a big year for the museum and one that brings in a lot of new visitors.

Several months ago, after Guilford County Commissioner Skip Alston heard a presentation on upcoming events and projects in downtown Greensboro, he was very upset that the museum and the 60th Anniversary celebration were left out of that presentation. Alston, one of the co-founders of the museum, said people can expect to see some big names coming in to take part in the happenings. He also said there will be a great deal of focus on the museum in 2020 due to the myriad of activities commemorating the famous lunch counter protest that took place at the site of the museum in 1960 when it was a downtown Woolworth’s.

The Jan. 3 event, which begins at 6 p.m. will feature Professor Will Harris of the University of Pennsylvania, and will include an exploration of the complex concept of freedom.

The program asks the following question of freedom: “What is it? After centuries of experimenting with this concept as the ultimate basis for personal integrity and civil order, maybe the idea is still mostly a provocation to think more, and better. What about when Alabama Gov. George Wallace (“Segregation Forever”) claimed it was the fundamental liberty of Southern Whites to enforce a regime of abject racial separation? Of course, there are other versions that cut the other way.”

Harris argues that many people miss out on freedom’s wholeness and therefore “forfeit its liberating spirit” by having a limited view of the concept. The presentation will look at ways people gain wisdom and make a better world by promoting true freedom.