GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The International Civil Rights Center & Museum (ICRCM) is pleased to announce that following a thorough search, members of the Board of Directors have unanimously selected Mr. Lacy Ward, Jr. as the new executive director. His appointment, effective May 19, 2014, will entail working with the board, employees, and a corps of volunteers as he oversees the day-to-day administration of the Museum. His responsibilities among others are fundraising, serving as spokesperson, and representing the company in professional
Ward brings extensive experience in museum administration, curatorial affairs, and development, including donor relations. This experience is derived in part from his seven year tenure with a center for the study of civil rights in education—the Robert Russa Moton Museum in Farmville, Virginia—where he currently serves as executive director.
"Lacy Ward, Jr. brings diverse experiences essential to our museum at this time of transition," stated Deena Hayes-Greene, Chairperson of the Board of Directors. "He joins a staff whose expertise and commitment have nurtured the growth of ICRCM as a unique educational resource. Families, school children, university students, and adult lifelong learners come here seeking an understanding of the quest for equity in this country and other nations too. We are confident that Mr. Ward will continue building on that progress during our next phase of advancement," the board chair further noted. Earl Jones, cofounder of ICRCM and vice chair of the board commented about Ward: "He is a rare museum professional who is both a terrific administrator and an excellent fundraiser, raising more than $5.5 million towards endeavors in his executive director position at the Russa Moton Museum." Mr. Jones went on to state, "We needed someone who could organize this institution, building financial stability, while at the same time continuing to grow and develop the Museum to an even higher level." Ward has also given dedicated service as a member of numerous boards for non-profit institutions.
A graduate of Virginia State University and Virginia Tech, Ward's professional experiences also consist of serving as a university vice president, park superintendent, CEO of a non-profit organization, and congressional aide. While serving in the military, Ward, a designated mission commander in the U.S. Navy, was responsible for a crew of five naval aviators executing carrier-based flight missions, including combat duty in the Libyan, Iranian, and Iraqi theaters. He is a Gulf War veteran with more than 1,200 flight hours and more than 200 carrier landings.
"This is an exciting time to take on the leadership of the International Civil Rights Center & Museum," said Ward. "An iconic downtown facility stands ready to welcome visitors from around the world to Greensboro to further their understanding of the city's role in fostering the global spread of democracy in the twenty-first century," he continued. Ward and his wife, Ardeania, are the parents of five adult children.
The International Civil Rights Center & Museum opened its doors on February 1, 2010 in the former F. W. Woolworth discount department store in downtown Greensboro. Fifty years earlier on that exact date, four students from the now North Carolina A&T State University staged a nonviolent sit-in protest against segregation at the store's "whites only" lunch counter. The courageous actions of Franklin E. McCain, Joseph McNeil, Ezell Blair, Jr. (now Jibreel Khazan), and David Richmond encouraged students across the country to take similar actions, and thereby reignited the Civil Rights Movement that brought about the "official" demise of racial separation in public accommodations. ICRCM is therefore a historic landmark, an exhibiting and collecting institution, and a teaching facility that promotes both the understanding and attainment of equity and freedom in the United States and societies across the world.
Upon his arrival to Greensboro, ICRCM will host a community gathering to officially introduce the new executive director to the Piedmont Triad area. Please take a moment to stop by Ward's office and welcome him to our dynamic Museum. He may be reached after May 19th by calling the Museum's main telephone number, (336) 274-9199.