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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — From slave ship shackles to the mountain top that Dr. Martin Luther King Junior preached about, the National Civil Rights Museum has taken the world on a long and compelling journey for 25 years.

Faith Morris is chief marketing and external affairs officer with the National Civil Rights Museum.

“It was 25 years ago today the National Civil Rights Museum was dedicated and it was born out of tragedy. You know this is the assassination site of Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior,” Morris said.

Born from that tragedy at the Lorraine Motel, the museum was transformed to become the first of its kind to tell the stories of the Civil Rights Movement since the arrival of African slaves in America.

“We have everyday created the opportunity for visitors to come in and listen to the voices of the movement, see the events of the movement and understand the movement and build a better society,” Morris said.

Through its exhibits, programs and a recent $28 million renovation, the museum has examined themes such as segregation, racial terrorism and discrimination.

“We want to make sure that folks understand history so that we don’t repeat the events of history and learn from it,” Morris said.

For millions of visitors and students, the museum is a candid reflection of America’s past and its hope for the future.

Markuitta Washington of Memphis said she is motivated by the museum.

“The museum as a whole is important. It’s history of course. It definitely gives you a different perspective and opens your mind to what happened in the past and how it affects your future,” Washington said.

The museum’s Freedom Award has also honored leaders for their contributions to civil and human rights such as Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, Rosa Parks and former President Jimmy Carter among others.

This year it will emphasize social justice.

“We all know that injustice is an issue in this country and in this world. So, we’ll be focusing on justice through the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s death, which is 2018, April fourth,” Morris said

The National Civil Rights Museum: A walk through history, a reflection of a chapter of American history, and a place that paves the way to inspire positive change.

“It was important for us to create not a monument, but an institution where Dr. King’s life and lessons all of the folks of the civil rights movement can be celebrated and be an education for the world,” Morris said.