About the Coalition
The International Coalition of Sites of Conscience is a worldwide network of “Sites of Conscience” – historic sites specifically dedicated to remembering past struggles for justice and addressing their contemporary legacies.
In 1999, the District Six Museum (South Africa); Gulag Museum (Russia); Liberation War Museum (Bangladesh); Lower East Side Tenement Museum (USA); Maison Des Esclaves (Senegal); National Park Service (USA); Memoria Abierta (Argentina); Terezin Memorial (Czech Republic); and the Workhouse (United Kingdom) founded the Coalition with the following statement:
“…it is the obligation of historic sites to assist the public in drawing connections between the history of our sites and their contemporary implications. We view stimulating dialogue on pressing social issues and promoting humanitarian and democratic values as a primary function.”
Sites of Conscience:
Click here for a full description of Sites of Conscience criteria.
Sites of Conscience programs:
Sites of Conscience may tell stories of mass atrocity or daily, individual struggles. They may preserve cultural or environmental resources. Each in their own way, Sites of Conscience seek to serve as significant new tools for building lasting cultures of human rights and democracy.
By initiating new conversations about contemporary issues through a historical lens, places of memory can become new centers for democracy in action. But the power of historic sites is not inherent; it must be harnessed as a self-conscious tactic in the service of human rights and civic engagement. Sites of Conscience play this critical role.
The Coalition provides member sites with direct funding for civic engagement programs; organizes learning exchanges ranging from one-on-one collaborations to international conferences; and conducts strategic advocacy for sites and the Sites of Conscience movement.
Support for Program Innovation
The Coalition provides financial and technical assistance to Sites of Conscience for programs that foster public dialogue on contemporary social issues. Click here for selected program descriptions.
Members build local networks of Sites of Conscience that collaborate to address common contemporary issues. Our current Regional Networks are:
Historic sites, human rights organizations, scholars, students and others develop strategies for Sites of Conscience and explore the theoretical implications of this work. Learning exchanges range from one-on-one collaboration to large international conferences. Click here for information on past and upcoming activities.
Tools and Resources
Program designs, dialogue techniques, planning documents, consultants, and other resources for building and strengthening Sites of Conscience are available on the Online Resource Center, a registered-members forum for discussion and access to resources. ( Free registration required.)
Professional Development and Consulting
The Coalition offers professional development and training programs for museum professionals, individually tailored to each institution’s needs. Programs address issues such as fostering effective dialogue on sensitive issues; building strong and productive community collaborations; designing exhibits that help visitors draw their own connections between past and present; evaluating civic engagement; and others.
We are grateful to the many individuals and members whose generous support allows Sites of Conscience all over the world to connect past to present, memory to action. Join today!
We are proud to acknowledge generous support from the following:
Nathan Cummings Foundation
Henry M. Jackson Foundation
The Libra Foundation
Museums & Communities Collaborations Abroad Program
United States Institute of Museum and Library Services
United States National Endowment for the Humanities
National Endowment for Democracy
Open Society Institute
Sigrid Rausing Trust
To make a contribution to the Coalition:
You can also contact Lidy Chu, Director of Institutional Advancement at firstname.lastname@example.org. All gifts to the Coalition are fully tax-deductible in the United States of America.
Become part of a growing worldwide network of organizations and individuals dedicated to helping historic sites inspire social consciousness and action.
To sign up online today, please choose a membership category from the menu below.