Civil Rights Center announces new executive director

GREENSBORO, N.C. – The International Civil Rights Center and Museum announced a new Executive Director this week.

Lacy Ward, Jr. joins the museum from Farmville, Virginia. Ward attended a City Council open work session Tuesday where he was welcomed by city leaders before they discussed the latest about a loan to the museum.

“I am very excited,” Ward said. “It’s a tremendous amount of energy in this community, all I think focused toward making the museum work. We know we have some issues that need to be resolved. There needs to be a strategic plan laid in front of the community that shows how we’re going to grow over time our way into long term financial sustainability.”

Council plans to vote about a modified loan agreement next week. It will include all the entities involved in museum ownership. Recent controversy surrounded a $1.5 million loan from the city to museum, half of which was paid without an official signed loan agreement in place.

Museum Board Chair Deena Hayes thought today’s discussion was promising. “I think they all sounded eager to kind of move forward with this. They made some closing comments around it. But it sounded to me like things are winding up.”

Those closing comments included some from Councilman Zack Metheny. “I would argue not all questions have been answered,” he pointed out.

Councilwoman Sharon Hightower said she was ready to move forward. “I’m not in favor of taking any money back. I certainly think we need to support them, help them be a positive entity.”

Ward said he was excited to begin his new role at the museum May 19. “I think we’re going to do a great job of putting Greensboro on the world map and understanding the role it played in the spread of democracy.”

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