The Alabama Civil Rights Tourism Association was founded as a non-profit a couple years ago but the idea and work of developing the Association began over a decade ago. We work hand-in-hand with the Alabama Department of Tourism to encourage and facilitate travel to our state for Social Justice and Civil Rights and partner with the Alabama African American Civil Rights Heritage Sites Consortium.
Our mission is to develop sustainable tourism options, education and training, plus operations in order to generate tourism revenue for the sites and the communities where they are located. We primarily operate tours in Montgomery, Tuskegee, Selma, Marion, and Birmingham, but we often include the quilters and folk artist in rural areas such as Gee’s Bend, Camden, etc. While we focus on Alabama, our scope expands to the US Civil Rights Trail depending on the requests from clients and we coordinate visits to Atlanta, Memphis, Jackson (MS), and New Orleans for interested groups.
Operationally, our staff has decades of experience as tour operators working along the lines of eco tours and bespoke experiences. Our leadership is composed of a mix of travel industry and local expert guides who were part of the Movement. Services range from consultation and resource advice to full itinerary planning with content. We can do as little or as much as an organization might need all the way to the full operation of tours with all items included. Though we may actually do the work of content development and operations, our name stays in the background.
Our key to success is working with The Alabama African American Civil Rights Heritage Sites Consortium, Inc. The consortium is a collaboration among 20 historic places of worship, lodging and civic engagement that played significant roles in the African American struggle for freedom. While recent history focuses on the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s, these institutions have been dedicated to improving the quality of Black life since Reconstruction.
The Consortium was launched in 2017 when the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI) successfully nominated the sites to the World Monuments Fund (WMF) Watch. The Alabama Consortium was included on the 2018 WMF Watch among a diverse group of 25 global cultural heritage sites. Incubated for two years as a project of BCRI, the Consortium is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping these sites build their capacity and sustainability. The Consortium operates with collaborative leadership rooted in a shared belief that there is strength in the unity of their common history, mission and goals.
The Consortium sites have been preserved through the passion, commitment and herculean efforts of dedicated volunteers who are committed to saving, not only these historic properties, but their important stories. Taken together, these sites provide a historical, social and cultural context for the movement that changed our state, nation, and world. Moving forward, the Consortium will continue its work to assure that this legacy is preserved for today and future generations.
As we endeavor to create a better society, we encourage you to discover the 20 places that changed the world and celebrate and preserve their legacy. Please visit www.aacrhsc.org and give generously to celebrate Black History Month.