World Heritage and U.S. Civil Rights Sites Symposium

April 20-22, 2017 –  Atlanta, Georgia

Selma to Montgomery

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A gathering of scholars, historic preservationists,
property owners and stakeholders to discuss a
World Heritage serial nomination for
historic sites associated with
the U. S. Civil Rights Movement.

The Georgia State University World Heritage Initiative has embarked on an effort to nominate a group of U. S. Civil Rights Sites to the World Heritage List, thereby achieving for these historic places associated with the modern struggle for race reform in America the highest possible level of global recognition possible.

Owners of historic properties associated with the civil rights struggle of the 1950s and 1960s, movement scholars and historic preservationists gathered in Atlanta, April 20-22, 2017, at the World Heritage and U. S. Civil Rights Sites Symposium to discuss preparing a Serial Nomination for the National Park Service to propose to UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee.

Free and open to the public, the Atlanta Symposium featured sessions explaining the objectives of the Initiative, the World Heritage nomination process, and what might be expected for property owners and relevant stakeholders of historic sites if they received such a designation.

To view sessions and download handouts from the Symposium, please go to the “News and Events” section of this website.

Thursday, April 20: Tours and Opening Session

Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site
450 Auburn Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30312

3:00-5:00 pm – Tours of the MLK, Jr. Historic Site
5:30 pm – Opening Plenary Session: What is World Heritage? Stephen Morris, Chief, Office of International Affairs, NPS; Phyllis M. Ellin, Historian, World Heritage Program, NPS
7:00 pm – Reception

Friday, April 21: Plenary Sessions

GSU College of Law
85 Park Place NE, Atlanta, GA 30303

9:00 am – Breakout Sessions: Introductions and Orientation
10:30 am – Plenary Session: The Global Significance of U. S. Civil Rights Sites, Waldo E. Martin, Jr., University of California, Berkeley; Patricia Sullivan, University of South Carolina
1:30 pm – Plenary Session: Authenticity and Comparatives in World Heritage Analysis, Alissandra Cummins, former Chairperson of the Executive Board of UNESCO; Susan Snow, Archeologist & Coordinator, San Antonio Missions World Heritage Site
3:30 pm – Plenary Session: Designation and Preservation Management, Paul Hardin Kapp, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; Michael Tomlan, Cornell University
5:00 pm – Reception

Saturday, April 22: Breakout Sessions

GSU College of Law
85 Park Place NE, Atlanta, GA 30303

9:00 am – Breakout Sessions: Committee of Scholars – Drafting a Statement of Outstanding Universal Significance; Property Owners, Stakeholders and Preservationists – Panel Discussion of the World Heritage Process
11:00 am – Concluding Plenary Session: U. S. Civil Right Sites and World Heritage; final reports


Residence Inn by Marriott
134 Peachtree Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30303

Located within easy walking distance of GSU and the trolley to the MLK, Jr. National Historic Site.

134 Peachtree Street NW / Atlanta, GA 30303/ 404-522-0950

For more information, contact or 404-413-6353.