Bailey calls for transparency in Civil Rights Museum board nomination process - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Kontji Anthony

Bailey calls for transparency in Civil Rights Museum board nomination process

National Civil Rights Museum founder D'Army Bailey recently fought to keep the museum in public hands.  Now, he's calling for more transparency.

"As far as I know, it's made no announcement that January 25th is the deadline for taking in new board member nominations," Bailey said Monday.

But the Museum's Executive Director, Beverly Robertson, says they are encouraging people to submit nominations.

"We have posted on our website- the provisions for board membership- and we are asking people who are interested to certainly submit their information," she said.

"But how many people are going to their website?" Bailey asked, adding he wants the museum to extend the deadline beyond Friday.

"The thing is all wrong, and it's still being done with that kind of corporate mentality of 'us and them,'" he said.

Bailey is also asking state legislators to pass a law banning a new requirement that board members must have the "ability to get or give $1,000" to the museum.

"You can't have a means test for people who are going to serve on the board of an organization that celebrates the little people, and of black people, and of working people, and for change," he said.

Robertson disagreed.

"There are plenty of people who care enough about this cause, so that if they don't personally have it, they have ways to," she said.

While the two have different views, they both said it's about progress.
"We've made a lot of progress, but we won't make any more if we don't demand it," Bailey said.

"The museum is very strong," Robertson added. "It always has been, and I see the museum going to a whole new level."

Some say Bailey is holding a grudge for being removed from the board of the very museum he founded.  Bailey said the ramifications of this issue go beyond Memphis.

Click here to read board nominations requirements.

Click here to send an email to Kontji Anthony.
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