A lot of people were caught by surprise when the agenda for the Guilford County Board of Commissioners retreat this week included a large gift of taxpayer money to the International Civil Rights Center and Museum.

But one Republican state lawmaker was quick to weigh in with his support. NC Rep. Jon Hardister sent out a statement endorsing the proposed funding for the Civil Rights Museum and announcing that state funding for the museum may also be in the works.

On Friday, March 18, the county commissioners are scheduled to approve $2 million in county money to fund the museum.

Hardister’s statement reads, “I recently learned that the Board of Commissions plans to consider providing assistance for the expansion of the International Civil Rights Museum. This expansion will involve the acquisition of property adjacent to the museum. I believe this would be a great investment for Guilford County. Assisting the museum in expanding will benefit not only Guilford County, but North Carolina as a whole.”

Hardister went on to state that the money would allow for an expansion that would enhance museum operations and attract more national and international visitors to the site that’s famous for the start of the national Sit-in Movement in 1960.

Hardister added that the expansion would mean that more events will be held at the museum.

While the move to give more money to the museum comes as a surprise to many, according to Hardister, there have been conversations taking place among state lawmakers regarding getting more money to the museum.

“Greensboro has a rich history in the Civil Rights movement, and supporting this museum is a great way to honor and preserve that history,” Hardister’s statement continued, “There have been conversations in the General Assembly about the possibility of the State of North Carolina providing assistance in this effort. I will continue to support this effort and discuss it with my colleagues in the legislature.”