Client: Oakland Chamber of Commerce
Location: Oakland, CA, United States
Completion date: 2013
Artwork budget: $9,500,000
Fiscal Sponsor, Oakland Chamber of Commerce
Remember Them: Champions for Humanity was a design I conceived after the horrific events of 9/11. I wanted to create a jaw-dropping monument that caused viewers to focus on positive aspects of humanity instead of the negative news that inundated us post 9/11. I sculpted 25 extraordinary people from around the world, some living, some deceased, who made a difference on behalf of others. I wanted to open minds and hearts, educate, inspire, and promote cross cultural respect and communication.
The Remember Them monument is installed in a park in a densely urban area. The park is framed with granite walls with life size castings of the 25 honorees and Braille plaques to create a tactile experience for visually impaired people. The project included the development of a website and educational curriculum, plus an intern program for young artists that lasted 3 years while the monument was being constructed. School children from all over the region take field trips to the monument after studying the humanitarians.
Remember Them has attracted visits from the living humanitarians, their descendants, scholars and other illuminati. Their input and support was truly an inspiration to me to keep pushing to finish the project. There is no other monument in the world that combines people of all races, faiths, genders and orientation, all with the goal of making worldwide peace a possiblity.
Remember Them: Champions for Humanity is 110 lineal feet long, 35 feet tall, and sculpted on an invisible Double Helix, the Common DNA of all people, to remind us of our similarities rather than our differences. I continue to receive feedback from visitors to the monument about how it has changed their life and what they are going to do to make a difference for others.