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Frederick Douglass Memorial Project Secures Funding from City of Boston Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture

Sasaki is excited to announce that the Frederick Douglass Plaza in Roxbury, Massachusetts has secured generous funding from the City of Boston Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture.

Sasaki was selected by the Frederick Douglass Sculpture Committee and the City of Boston to design the site of a statue commemorating famed social justice reformer Fredrick Douglass in Roxbury, Massachusetts. The City of Boston has allocated $550,000 in capital funds to the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture to be used for the statue and public plaza.

While the intersection at which the project sits—Frederick Douglass Square—was dedicated in 1917, it currently lacks a physical memorial of its namesake. Building a memorial like this marks a significant accomplishment in the centuries-long fight by black Americans to claim space in the nation’s symbolic landscape and historical consciousness.

“Our team is honored to have helped shape this important black landscape for the community of Roxbury and for citing the Frederick Douglass Sculpture,” says Diana Fernandez, project manager. 


“This project symbolizes a step towards justice, representation, and hope for the future of the black community in Boston, and we are thrilled the Mayor's office of Arts and Culture is investing in this community." 

Diana Fernandez

“Acquiring adequate funding is one of the biggest hurdles in turning a vision into an actualized project,” adds Mel Isidor, interdisciplinary designer and Sasaki alum. “I am both excited and encouraged to see the city leveraging its capacity to support bringing this memorial to life.”

The statue designed in a collaboration between Los Angeles-based sculptor Mario Chiodo and local Roxbury artist Paul Goodnight will depict Douglass standing atop a stack of books, surrounded at the base by women, children, and soldiers. The statue pays homage to his lifelong fight for women’s rights, children’s education, and the freedom of enslaved people.

While this funding marks significant progress in bringing the project to fruition, the Frederick Douglass Sculpture Committee is seeking additional support to implement this vision. You can contribute to the project here.

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