Museum Founders

The International Civil Rights Center & Museum was co-founded by Melvin “Skip” Alston and Earl F. Jones in 1993 under the auspices of Sit-in Movement Inc.

Melvin Alston

Skip Alston currently serves as Guilford County Commissioner, his fifth term since 1992. Alston was the first African-American elected to serve as chairman of the Guilford County commissioners’ board in 2003, a position he was also reelected to in 2009. He is active in numerous civic and volunteer organizations including the Guilford County Elected Officials Black Caucus, the North Carolina Association of Black Officials; and local, state and national branches of the NAACP.

In addition to Sit-In Movement Inc., Alston is founder and president of S & J Management Corporation, as well as Alston and Alston LLC and East Market Street Square Inc. Alston is a native of Durham, N.C., and attended North Carolina Central University where he majored in business administration.

Earl F. Jones

From 2002 to 2011, Earl Jones served in the North Carolina State Legislature. He represented District 60 and served as the vice chair of the science and technology committee. Prior to this, Jones was the longest serving member of the Greensboro City Council, serving for 18 years. Jones is a leader in social and political reform in Greensboro and is also the owner and publisher of the Greensboro Times newspaper.

A lawyer by training, Jones ran the anti-poverty program in Greensboro for nearly 20 years and served as legal counsel for the NAACP. Jones grew up 30 minutes east of Greensboro in Burlington, North Carolina. He is a graduate of North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina, and Texas Southern University School of Law in Houston, Texas.