Keep Oakland Beautiful Points of Interest remind us of how interesting and beautiful Oakland is and why we should care about protecting it.
The Henry J. Kaiser Memorial Park in Uptown (at 19th St and Rashida Muhammad St) is home to one of the most inspiring monuments I’ve ever experienced. The ‘Remember Them: Champions for Humanity’ monument is the vision and work of local sculptor Mario Chiodo. Unveiled a year ago, this monument was cast in four sections, in 30 tons of bronze! The tallest section stands 31 feet high.
Left to right: Ruby Bridges, Maya Angelu, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Mother Teresa, Thich Nhat Hanh, Chief Joseph
The monument pays tribute to 25 men and women who stood for peace, freedom, and human rights. These ‘champions of humanity’ are diverse — ethnically, culturally, socially, religiously, and politically.
These champions are:
Ruby Bridges Helen Keller
Maya Angelou Abraham Lincoln
Franklin Delano Roosevelt Regoberta Menchu
Mother Teresa Winston Churchill
Thich Nhat Hanh Malcolm X
Chief Joseph Cesar Chevez
Oskar Shindler The unknown rebel of Tiananmen Square
Frederick Douglass Elie Wiesel
Rosa Parks Susan B. Anthony
Ralph David Abernathy Harvey Milk
Martin Luther King, Jr. Shirin Ebadi
Coretta Scott King Nelson Mandela
Left to right: Elie Weisel, Cesar Chevez, Susan B. Anthony, Malcolm X, Harvey Milk
In addition, there are tributes to 14 local champions of humanity:
Joyce Taylor Carmen Flores
Henry J. Kaiser Josie De La Cruz
Mary Ann Wright Royal Towns
Joaquin Miller Ina Coolbrith
Fred Korematsu John Grubensky
Dr. Marcus Foster Ansel Hall
Oleta Abrams Ohlone Woman
The next time you’re in Uptown, I encourage you to walk amongst these giants who, one way or another, changed the world. The monument is a beautiful expression of humanity and courage.
Oskar Shindler and Frederick Douglass
Keeping Oakland Beautiful is everybody’s business.
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