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Governor Moore proclaims 2024 as Maryland’s Year of Civil Rights

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ANNAPOLIS, MD—This week, Governor Wes Moore proclaimed 2024 as Maryland’s Year of Civil Rights during a launch event at the Banneker-Douglass Museum, Maryland’s official African American history and culture museum. Joined by First Lady Dawn Moore and the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture, the launch celebrated the upcoming events that will honor Maryland’s Year of Civil Rights and the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

“Studying history isn’t just about knowing what happened in the past. It’s about knowing our power in the present. That’s what Maryland’s Year of Civil Rights is about,” said Gov. Moore. “And so my message to Marylanders is simple:—get out into our communities and take advantage of the programs being offered during Maryland’s Year of Civil Rights. Let’s practice our history, let’s protect our history, and let’s participate in our history, by making history of our own.”

Maryland is home to civil rights icons such as Verda Freeman Welcome, Frederick Douglass, Harriett Tubman, Thurgood Marshall, and Gloria Richardson and has been the backdrop to pivotal civil rights legislation, from the Treaty of Cambridge to Bell vs. Maryland. Throughout 2024, museums and organizations across the state will present programming that celebrates Maryland’s role in civil rights with national and state heritage organizations like the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the National Park Service, Maryland Heritage Areas, and the Reginald F. Lewis Museum.

“I couldn’t think of a better place to kick off Maryland’s Year of Civil Rights than at the Banneker-Douglass Museum, where we stand in a living tribute to the extraordinary contributions of African Americans from all walks of life,” said First Lady Dawn Moore. “African American history is about the vast tapestry of stories that have brought us to this point over generations. We have a responsibility to uplift our stories-and the stories of so many others.”

The Moore-Miller administration is committed to uplifting and preserving Black history in the state of Maryland. In February, Governor Moore proclaimed Civil Rights Heroes Day in Maryland. And in April, Governor Moore announced increased funding for the African American Heritage Preservation Program, from $1 million annually to $5 million.

“Pausing to observe pivotal moments and the courageous actions of our ancestors reminds us of our responsibility to continue their important work that yet remains unfinished,” said Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture Chair Dr. Edwin T. Johnson.

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