Grant to Support Civil Rights Hall of Fame Plans

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Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson (file photo) Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson (file photo)

The federal Economic Development Administration has awarded a nearly $60,000 grant to the city of Gary for the development of a National Civil Rights Hall of Fame facility. Congressman Pete Visclosky's (D-6) office says the money will fund a feasibility study and business plan for the project.

The project would not only establish the hall of fame facility, but also the headquarters for the National Civil Rights Institute and Hall of Fame Inc. in Gary. Former Gary Mayor Richard Hatcher is the founder and president of the institute.

"I am excited about the opportunity to add the City’s voice to planning the National Civil Rights Hall of Fame. It is just the right fit for Gary and a fitting tribute to Mayor Hatcher’s legacy," said Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson. "Over the past five years, we have had numerous discussions about the project and have continued to work with Board members through our Department of Commerce. Receiving this grant is huge."

Visclosky's office says the study will bring together public and private sector leaders "in order to support and strengthen the economy."

"I commend Mayor Freeman-Wilson and the City of Gary for successfully securing this federal grant," Visclosky said in a news release. "As we near the 50th Anniversary of the election of Richard Hatcher as Mayor of Gary, who, along with Mayor Carl Stokes of Cleveland, has the honor of being one of our country’s first African-American mayors of a city with more than 100,000 people, I deeply appreciate the City’s unrelenting initiative to establish this historical and significant facility. It will undoubtedly build upon the foundational economic attractions of Gary and draw additional visitors and businesses to our region."

A timeline for completion of the feasibility study was not provided.

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