About The MIA
The Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA) was born from a citizens’ movement. The organization, created amidst crisis in 1955, catapulted the Montgomery Bus Boycott and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to the forefront of the national struggle for civil rights.
The MIA introduced a new era of grass-roots civil disobedience and mass resistance that would shape the Modern Civil Rights Movement in the days and years that followed.
Today, the MIA continues the courageous work that began 60 years ago to improve the city of Montgomery and the world beyond through fairness and equality for all citizens. The organization champions civil rights, promotes education, fosters civic responsibility and engagement and encourages economic empowerment to advance the continued fight for freedom.
The MIA was organized by Montgomery, Alabama ministers and leaders on December 5, 1955 after the overwhelming success of a one-day boycott by the city’s black citizens who refused to ride the segregated city buses. The boycott was held in protest of the Dec. 1 arrest of Rosa Parks, a local seamstress, who refused to surrender her seat on the bus white passenger. With its president, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., a young and largely unknown Southern Baptist pastor at that time, the MIA would lead Montgomery’s Black citizens in a 382-day standoff with the City of Montgomery in opposition to its segregationist policies.
Though few of them owned cars, working Black citizens refused to ride the city buses until they were integrated, a battle that ultimately led them to the United States Supreme Court. When the High Court declared the segregation of public buses unconstitutional, more than a year later, Montgomery’s Black citizens walked their way into American history, birthing a spirit of non-violent mass resistance that would sweep the nation and shape the struggle for civil rights for years to come.
Uncommon Courage: Leaving Footprints. Leading Change.
Celebrating 60 Years of Action, From Protest to Progress
IN THE MAKING
The MIA will celebrate 60 years of leadership and service in the fight for freedom and human rights.
An exciting calendar of events has been planned to celebrate the anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the tremendous strides that have been made in the journey towards justice and equal rights that started with everyday citizens in the streets of Montgomery in 1955.
Download the Exhibits Calendar
SHARE MEMORIES OF THE MONTGOMERY BUS BOYCOTT
As we prepare to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, we would like to invite the public to take part by sharing your memories and memorabilia to be included in the Montgomery Improvement Association’s archives.
You may share your personal stories in writing or as oral histories. We also are interested in historical photographs, documents or other items from this pivotal moment in our nation’s history.
For more information about being a part of the MIA’s Memories of the Boycott, please call 334-833-1950.