Dalonja Duncan, President of the Anniversary to Commemorate the Civil Rights Demonstrations, Inc. (ACCORD), and Elizabeth Duncan, Chairwoman of the Civil Rights Museum of St. Augustine, Inc., have jointly announced to Historic City News that the two organizations will combine efforts to bring a local Civil Rights Museum to fruition.
ACCORD formed a Civil Rights Museum Committee a few years ago under the leadership of Gwendolyn Duncan. Considering all the other projects with which the small, grass-roots, non-profit organization was already involved; the design, planning, financing, logistics, programming, staffing, and other prerequisites to development of a new museum, proved to be too demanding on their limited resources.
Instead of two separate parallel efforts towards similar goals, the Civil Rights Museum of St Augustine, Inc., including its founding members, Richard P Burton and J.T. Johnson, entered into discussions with the ACCORD committee; in the hopes of finding common ground. Burton serves as board member for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and, Johnson is a member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
As those discussions moved forward, new stakeholders emerged. According to the Duncans, Theodore and Carlotta Miles of Washington, D.C., owners of a historically significant building in Lincolnville have worked out an arrangement to make the Rudcarlie Building, located at 79 Bridge Street, available for the new museum.
“With the committed support of ACCORD volunteers from their corporate sponsor, the Northrop Grumman Corporation, the original ACCORD committee, and the Miles family, as owners of the building; the future for the Civil Rights Museum of St Augustine is bright,” Dalonja Duncan told local reporters.
Now acting with one unified vision and combined resources, the project is back on track. Spruce up of the building will begin shortly. It needs to be brought up to code standards for a museum; in the interim, it will serve as a joint fundraising headquarters and home for some temporary displays depicting scenes and artifacts from the 1960’s Civil Rights Movement in St Augustine.
Learn more about donations and naming opportunities in the museum on their website at www.accordfreedomtrail.org or contact call Lorraine McLaughlin at (904) 217-7999.