Wells Fargo Bank Partners with the Civil Rights Museum as Title Sponsor of the 2020 Gala Commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of the Sit-Ins
GREENSBORO, N.C — A memorable gallery in the Permanent Exhibit of the International Civil Rights Center & Museum is called “A Changed World,” documenting successful effects of the 1960s struggle for equal status and mutual dignity among all members of the national community. This title also marks the highest level of support afforded by Wells Fargo Bank as the key sponsor of the Civil Rights Museum’s 2020 Fund-Raising Gala.
The theme of the 2020 Gala is “The Movement Continues.” It will be held on Feb. 1, from 7–9 p.m., at the Greensboro Coliseum. Persons interested in attending the Gala by supporting its fund-raising goals can find information at www.sitinmovement.org.
John Swaine, the CEO of the Museum, stated that Wells Fargo’s gift as Title Sponsor for the Gala represents a partnership with the ICRCM that will be focused on programming across the full year, during which the Museum will be commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the beginning of the Greensboro Sit-ins on Feb. 1, 1960, and the integration of the Woolworth’s lunch counter six months later on July 25. “The Wells Fargo investment in our educational mission during the Commemorative Year will anchor the larger community’s participation in the Museum’s endeavors to mark civil rights gains from the past and leverage them for on-going progress in advancing human rights.”
“We are grateful for Wells Fargo’s generosity,” Swaine continued, “as evidenced by the Bank’s support for promoting understanding of Greensboro’s distinctive story of non-violent direct action for racial inclusion, and for its recognition that the Civil Rights Museum’s trusteeship of the Woolworth’s landmark has reached a point of stability where we are prepared to take the next steps toward greater national and international impact.”
“Wells Fargo is proud and honored to continue our support for the International Civil Rights Center & Museum and the important work they are doing,” said Leigha Smith, Piedmont Region Bank President for Wells Fargo. “We value and learn from the diversity of our team members, our customers and the communities where we do business. It offers us a competitive advantage and is part of what makes our company special. Our mission is to help build strong and vibrant communities, improve the quality of life and make a positive difference.”
Wells Fargo’s financial contribution to the ICRCM will support educational programs for the public throughout the year that will, among other subjects, deal with future implications of civil rights achievements in the past and the larger implications of the national Sit-In Movement, which began in Greensboro on that Feb. 1. These funds will also provide free admission to the Museum for 500 students from Title-I Schools, under the Building a Better America through Core Democratic Values program.
Animating an historically preserved teaching landmark, the International Civil Rights Center & Museum is both a museum of the Civil Rights Movement and an educationally activist organization devoted to the understanding and advancement of civil and human rights in this country and in the world. It commemorates the launch, on Feb. 1, 1960, of the sit-ins at a whites-only lunch counter, in Greensboro, by the North Carolina A&T Four college students, whose protest spurred the larger modern Sit-In Movement and re-ignited the Civil Rights Movement as a whole. The non-violent action carried out emblematically at this F.W. Woolworth’s store challenged the American People to make good on trans-generational promises of civil rights and social inclusion enunciated in the Constitution of the United States. The sit-ins, aiming to bring a “new normal” of decent ordinary encounters among citizens as equals, were sustained for six months, at which time the lunch counter was successfully integrated. This is an historical pivot-place, with a story of progress valiantly earned.