New Partnership will Transform Pauli Murray Childhood home

New Partnership will Transform Pauli Murray Childhood home

The Pauli Murray childhood home is beginning its journey to a National Historic Site with the help of new partnerships and donations









Video of the Announcement


BOSTON & DURHAM, N.C. – August 17, 2015 – The Pauli Murray Center for History and Social Justice and Iron Mountain Incorporated (NYSE: IRM), the storage and information management company, are excited to announce a new partnership to transform the childhood home of Pauli Murray into a national historic site. With the partnership, Iron Mountain will provide a financial contribution to preserve the foundation of the home as well as moving forward with exterior renovations that are currently threatened by lack of maintenance, demolition, neglect and water damage.

A ceremony celebrating this partnership is planned for August 21, 2015 at 6 p.m. ET at the opening of an exhibition, Pauli Murray: Imp, Crusader, Dude, Priest in the Cameron Gallery at The Scrap Exchange, 2050 Chapel Hill Road in Durham, North Carolina. The Pauli Murray house was designated a National Treasure in March 2015 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

“We’re pleased to support the Pauli Murray Center in their mission to preserve Pauli’s important historical contributions,” said Ty Ondatje, Iron Mountain’s senior vice president of Corporate Responsibility and Chief Diversity Officer. “Our Living Legacy Initiative gives us the opportunity to extend our charitable mission to non-profit organizations, like the Pauli Murray Center, that share our vision for cultural and historical preservation. We passionately believe that everyone deserves equal access to the ideas and artifacts that compose our human experience, regardless of economic or geographic barriers, and we’re honored to be able to play a part in helping the Center preserve her childhood home and educate future generations about Pauli Murray’s legacy.”

The Rev. Dr. Pauli Murray, 1910-1985, was an accomplished American activist who believed in justice, reconciliation, and freedom. She championed the cause of human rights through her work as an author, educator, lawyer, feminist, poet and priest.

“Pauli Murray is an American hero whose life story is inspiring to everyone who believes in human rights for all,” says Mayme Webb-Bledsoe, board chair of the Pauli Murray Center for History and Social Justice, “and we are thrilled to be partnering with Iron Mountain to save her childhood home and advance her vision for equality and reconciliation.

She grew up with her grandparents Robert and Cornelia Fitzgerald on Carroll Street in Durham. As a mixed race woman growing up in the segregated South, she encountered injustice and learned from her family how to combat it. “The ideals and influences within my own family had made me a life-long fighter against all forms of inequality and injustice. — Pauli Murray, Proud Shoes: The Story of an American Family. Murray worked tirelessly in the struggle to achieve equal rights for African Americans and for women. She sat down on buses and sat in at lunch counters in the 1940s. She penned the memorandum sent to the US Congress advocating for women’s rights in the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Murray’s family valued education. She earned law degrees from Howard, Yale and the University of California and in 1951 she wrote The States’ Law on Race and Color, which Thurgood Marshall called the Bible for civil rights lawyers. She was an advisor and friend to Eleanor Roosevelt and was appointed by Kennedy to his President’s Commission on the Status of Women Committee on Civil and Political Rights in 1961. Murray co-authored “Jane Crow and the Law: Sex Discrimination and Title VII in 1965 and cofounded the National Organization for Women (NOW) in 1966.

Pauli Murray published two autobiographical books, the path breaking 1956 Proud Shoes: The Story of An American Family and the 1987 Song in a Weary Throat: An American Pilgrimage. A poet, she also published Dark Testament and Other Poems in 1970.

At age 62, Pauli Murray entered seminary seeking ordination and in 1977 she was the first African-American woman to be ordained as an Episcopal priest. She offered communion for the first time at the Chapel of the Cross in Chapel Hill 123 years after her grandmother had been baptized there as a slave.

About the Pauli Murray Center for History & Social Justice
The Pauli Murray Center for History and Social Justice lifts up the life and legacy of activist, scholar, feminist, poet, attorney, and priest Pauli Murray. We are developing a historic site at Murray’s childhood home where we will actively work, through our programming and operations to increase engagement across divisions such as race, class, sexual & gender identity, and spiritual practice to address enduring inequities and injustice in our local, national, and global communities. Visit for more information.

About Iron Mountain
Iron Mountain Incorporated (NYSE: IRM) is a leading provider of storage and information management services. The company’s real estate network of over 67 million square feet across more than 1,000 facilities in 36 countries allows it to serve customers with speed and accuracy. And its solutions for records management, data management, document management, and secure shredding help organizations to lower storage costs, comply with regulations, recover from disaster, and better use their information for business advantage. Founded in 1951, Iron Mountain stores and protects billions of information assets, including business documents, backup tapes, electronic files and medical data. Visit for more information.

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