Oakland Honors 25 Humanitarians in Final Sculpture Dedication

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"Remember Them: Champions for Humanity" sculpture by Mario Chiodo.

I consider those whom I chose to render in the sculpture to be champions of humanity, and feel they start the conversation for the freedom march of art.

On Friday, May 31, Oakland native, artist and businessman Mario Chiodo, in partnership with the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, celebrates the completion of the historic monument Remember Them: Champions for Humanity. The 52' long by 25' high sculpture is a larger than life depiction of 25 civil rights activists, including Rosa Parks, Mahatma Ghandi, and Cesar Chavez.
 
The dedication ceremony, which begins at 3:00 p.m. at the Henry J. Kaiser Memorial Park (19th and Rashida Muhammad Streets), will honor these humanitarians who Chiodo believes are prime examples of people who contributed to human rights and social justice. "I consider those whom I chose to render in the sculpture to be champions of humanity, and feel they start the conversation for the freedom march of art."
 
The world-class bronze monument was inspired by the tragic events of 9/11 in New York City, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania. Chiodo conceived the monument to highlight the connectedness of the human experience through loss and our struggles for equality and justice. Since unveiling Remember Them in 2011, Chiodo has been commissioned to work on other monuments and tributes themed on social justice, including the Contrabands and Freedmen Monument in Alexandria, Virginia; the Tribute to African Americans in Golf at the World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine, Florida; and the Harriet Tubman Thomas Garrett Underground Railroad Memorial in Wilmington, Delaware, which was completed last October.  
 
In addition to the inspirational focus of the monument, exceptionally unique is the “Visually Impaired Wall,” which allows those with sight impairments to explore the characters on the monument through touch. Remember Them also includes an educational component with curriculum developed by the King Institute at Stanford University under the direction of Dr. Clay Carson.
 
Many local leaders and community members say that the placement of Remember Them in Oakland is befitting of such a piece. Known as a center of civil rights activism from labor rights to woman’s rights, Oakland is home to legendary community activists and politicians, who took nationally-unpopular stands and who are as courageous as the people they represent.
 
Notable for their regional efforts, the final dedication of Remember Them features heroes who have walked among us here in the Bay Area. The diverse array includes: Carmen Flores, Dr. Marcus Foster, and Henry J. Kaiser. Remember Them offers locals and visitors a chance to learn about these champions, of whom we can all be proud.
 
For more information on Remember Them: Champions for Humanity, visit http://www.remember-them.org.

 
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