ATLANTA (AP) — The billionaire owner of the Atlanta Falcons is donating $17 million to help a civil rights museum expand and offer new programming.
Arthur Blank's family foundation announced the gift to the National Center for Civil and Human Rights on Thursday. The vast majority of the money will fund a new, three-story west wing at the downtown Atlanta museum that will include space to educate visitors about lynching.
The remaining $2 million will be used to fund storytelling and other projects that connect the history of racial injustice to contemporary challenges.
“The most effective way to make progress together as a community is to shine a light on the issues that exist and to then do something about them so that everyone can feel a sense of understanding and support,” Blank said in a statement.
Blank's foundation previously donated $1.5 million to help construct the museum, which opened in 2014.
Blank co-founded Home Depot Inc. He bought the Falcons in 2002 and also owns the Atlanta United soccer team.