2022 All Members Conference Tours

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ARCS All Members Conference Opening Doors to Members and Science October 10-13, 2022 in Atlanta, GA



National Center for Civil and Human Rights
Atlanta is known worldwide as “the cradle of the Civil Rights Movement.”  Its leaders fought for voting rights, access the public facilities and institutions, educational and economic opportunities for its African American constituents as early as the 1940’s. Then, with the founding of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957 and through the leadership of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and others, the movement took a giant step forward and gained national and worldwide attention.  But the quest for civil and human rights took ominous and dangerous turns for decades and its history is filled with bigotry, hate, and violence.

And, now, for the first time the NATIONAL CENTER FOR CIVIL AND HUMAN RIGHTS, which opened in Atlanta in 2014, chronicles the dramatic history of the Civil Rights Movement, in ways that will astound and amaze you.

Perhaps the most vivid and poignant is the Greensboro, North Carolina Sit-In in 1960.  This interactive exhibit takes you inside a segregated Woolworths to its lunch counter where young African American students are sitting at the counter and refuse to leave when denied service.  YOU will sit at that lunch counter and encounter the same non-violent protest that the students encountered as they confronted segregation head-on. This is just one of the numerous exhibits that will leave you awestruck with a reality check you have never encountered before.

Shepherd Center
The Shepherd Center is a leading and renowned nationally ranked Hospital for the treatment of brain and spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, and other neuromuscular problems.  The Hospital was founded in 1975 and now has 152 beds.  During the height of the armed conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, countless numbers of military personnel who suffered serious brain and related injuries were airlifted to Atlanta and treated at Shepherd while their families were housed free of charge nearby. 

ARCS visitors will have the unique opportunity to be given a private and special briefing and tour, not offered publicly. Taking part in our visit will be the Hospital’s Chief Executive Officer Sarah Morrison, with a special welcome from Alana Shepherd, the Hospital’s Founder.  We will also learn, first-hand, about Shepherd’s adolescent programs and unique forms of therapy to treat brain and spinal cord injury. This is an educational experience not to be missed.

  • 1:00 - 1:30 pm - Boxed Lunch 
  • 1:30 - Alana Shepherd, Co-Founder and Sarah Morrison, CEO welcome group 
  • 1:45 - Grant Brunson (former patient) and Cheryl Linden, Shepherd Center Adolescent Counselor – Shepherd Center Adolescent Program 
  • 2:10 - Innovation Video & Presentation by Dr. Debbie Backus, Vice President of Research and Innovation 
  • 2:50 - 4:00 - Breakout tours of Shepherd Center



Atlanta History Center
The Atlanta History Center, with nine permanent and numerous changing exhibits, was first opened in 1926 in a City that was doomed and left in ruins at the end of the Civil War.  This awesome historical look at Atlanta features the “Cyclorama”—a panoramic painting that details with great authenticity the “Battle of Atlanta.” It measures 49 feet high; stretches 370 feet in circumference; and weighs 10,000 pounds. If you have read about the “Battle of Atlanta,” you will marvel at how this one-of-a-kind artwork as you stand in the center of events that nearly destroyed this huge Southern metropolis and railroad hub.

And, you will see, first-hand, two southern homes and their properties restored, the Tullie Smith House and the Swan House, along with almost two dozen exhibitions that tell the story of Atlanta’s culture and the history that shaped the City. The Atlanta History Center will give you a profound understanding of what Atlanta was; and how it has rebuilt itself to become a leading American center of the arts; culture, education, and industry are something you will not soon forget. 

High Museum of Art 
The High Museum of Art stands out along Atlanta’s Peachtree Street within the Woodruff Arts Center Complex and is quickly recognizable by its striking architecture and futuristic design. First established in 1905, the Museum has more than 15,000 pieces of extraordinary art, including modern and contemporary paintings, photographs, folk art, self-taught art, decorative arts, and collections of European and African Art. Featured are noted world-class exhibitions that include the High Museum as a major exhibition space. The “High’ has four buildings with 312,000 square feet of exhibition space. One building was designed by Richard Meier and the remaining four by Renzo Piano. The Museum has an extensive art education and activity programs for children and young adults and now conducts numerous programs online.

Atlanta Botanical Gardens 
Featuring one of the most extraordinary exhibitions of Orchids in the world in its Fuqua Orchid Center with a 6,000 square foot formal and naturalistic tropical display; the Atlanta Botanical Gardens offers within its 30 acres a unique look at the true diversity of what Atlanta has in store for its visitors and residents. The Gardens boast the largest tree canopy level walkway in the United States, taking strollers 40 feet up and through one of the few remaining hardwood forests in Atlanta in a 12 foot-wide-walkway. While in the Gardens, visitors will experience an Edible Garden; a unique Children’s Garden; and a tropical High Elevation House.  Away from the skyscrapers of the City, the Atlanta Botanical Gardens provides that chance to take a deep breath and appreciate nature and its awesomeness first-hand.

From left to right, National Center for Civil and Human Rights, The Atlanta Botanical Gardens, and  Shepherd Center. 



The Georgia Aquarium 
A visit to the Georgia Aquarium is best described as “a sea world happening.”  It is the largest Aquarium in the world, with more than 10-million gallons of water in six separate galleries, housing 70 habitats of more than 100,000 species of exotic fish, whale sharks, dolphins, and beluga whales, and animals that include African penguins and sea otters. It’s a collection of sea life you will see nowhere else in one place anywhere in the world. Opened in 2005, the Georgia Aquarium also features special shows that are scheduled during the time of your visit.  And there will be a chance with a group of twelve or less, to book a special “behind the scenes” tour to visit the veterinarian facilities and kitchens, as well as stand atop the tanks that house the giant whale sharks.