The International Civil Rights Center and Museum is planning a big 2020 Gala since it’s the 60th Anniversary of the Sit-Ins in downtown Greensboro, and one way it’s hoping to make this year’s event a very special one is by bringing in former President Barack Obama.
The official status of the invitation to Obama is “awaiting response” – but, whether the former president shows up or not, the museum is planning a big night for what is its most important fundraising event every year.
The “Gala 2020” will be held on Saturday, Feb. 1 at the Special Events Center at the Greensboro Coliseum with tickets costing $150 per person. At the gala this year, the museum will celebrate national and local activists who’ve made major contributions to human and civil rights. The gala will also mark the 60th anniversary of what museum officials call, “America’s most recognized lunch-counter sit-in protests against segregated public eating establishments in the South.”
In addition to honoring that anniversary, the dinner will also celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the museum’s opening. The civil rights museum was founded by Guilford County Commissioner Skip Alston and former Greensboro City Councilmember and former state Rep. Earl Jones in an effort that took years.
Obama is being awarded the “Alston/Jones International Civil and Human Rights Award,” and the museum would like nothing better than for the country’s 44th president to show up to accept it and really shine a spotlight on the gala and on the museum.
Also at the gala, Rev. Al Sharpton will be honored with a “Lifetime Achievement Award” for his work in civil rights.
Actor and activist Danny Glover of “Lethal Weapon” fame is designated to receive the museum’s “Trailblazer Award,” but his attendance at the event is not certain.
The event will also honor Clayola Brown, a union leader and labor activist, as an “Unsung Hero,” and will honor the Rev. Dr. Cardes H. Brown Jr., the senior pastor at New Light Missionary Baptist Church and president of the Greensboro Chapter of the NAACP with the “Lifetime Community Service Award.”
In addition, at the gala the museum will formally announce Linda B. Brown and Emma Washington as the “2020 Sit-In Participant Award honorees,” for their involvement in the 1960 Woolworth’s lunch counter protest.