Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank and his foundation announced plans Thursday for a $17 million grant that will go toward improvements for a downtown civil rights museum.
The donation from the Arthur Blank Family Foundation will benefit the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, an Atlanta landmark that opened in 2014.
Most of the money will fund a new, three-story west wing that will include space to educate visitors about lynching. In 2013, the Blank Foundation gave the center a $1.5 million grant for construction.
“The most effective way to make progress together as a community is to shine a light on the issues that exist and to then do something about them so that everyone can feel a sense of understanding and support,” Blank, chairman of the foundation, said in a statement.
“We believe in the power of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights to educate, include and transform the whole of the community and this country so that together, we can create tangible, positive change.”
Blank, a billionaire who co-founded Home Depot Inc., bought the Falcons in 2002.
“Arthur Black invested in the idea of an Atlanta-based National Center for Civil and Human Rights more than a decade ago, before we had a building, and has been a champion ever since,” Jill Savitt, CEO of the center, said in a statement.
“This generous gift allows us to expand our vision – to be a national organization working to help people tap their own power to change the world and to live with purpose. We hope Arthur Blank’s leadership investment invites others to join us in promoting fairness and dignity for all.”
–Field Level Media