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News Releases 2018

Posted on: April 16, 2018

Jackson County announces groundbreaking ceremony for “Monument to Freedom, Justice & Courage"

Freedom Monument Rendering

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 16, 2018

Contact: Marshanna Hester

(816) 878-1930

mhester@jacksongov.org 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Jackson County is pleased to announce a groundbreaking ceremony for its newest community project, the “Monument to Freedom, Justice & Courage.” The Monument, located in Leon M. Jordan Memorial Park at 31st and Benton, will honor those who are making or have made significant contributions to the Civil Rights Movement in Jackson County.

Citizens, local officials and the media are invited to celebrate the beginning of this positive community asset.

What: Monument to Freedom, Justice & Courage

Groundbreaking Ceremony

When: Wednesday, April 18 at 11:00 a.m.

Where: Leon M. Jordan Memorial Park

31st and Benton, KCMO

Who: Frank White, Jr. – Jackson County Executive

Alfred Jordan – Jackson County Legislator, 2nd District

Bishop James Tindall – Long-time Public Servant & Community Activist

The “Monument to Freedom, Justice & Courage” will be constructed of brick and polished concrete blocks. It will contain two sections, each eight feet high and 33 feet long, creating a half-circle around the Leon Jordan Statue.

Each monument segment will contain space for 500 memorial plaques, for a total of 1,000 honorees. Each year for the next 10 years, 100 individuals will be selected to be added to the Monument as directed by the Jackson County Freedom Wall Commission, which was established in 2014.

Community members are encouraged to submit nominations based on eligibility and criteria requirements set by the Commission. The nomination deadline for the first 100 inductees is Thursday, May 3 at 4:30p.m. Additional submission details and nomination forms can be found on the Jackson County website.

The “Monument to Freedom, Justice & Courage” was designed by Bruce Wilke, Jackson County Parks + Rec Landscape Architect, Ajamu K. Webster, CEO & Founder of DuBois Consultants of Kansas City and project engineer Nevene Fanous. The project will be constructed by NW Rogers Construction of Blue Springs.

A rendering of the final project is attached.

About Leon M. Jordan Memorial Park

The Leon M. Jordan Memorial Park honors the life and legacy of Leon Jordan, a Kansas City police officer, politician and civil rights leader who co-founded Freedom Inc. Following his murder on July 15, 1970, Jackson County broke ground on the corner property at 31st and Benton for the park on August 5, 1972. Additional land was acquired a year later, leading up to the dedication of the Leon Jordan Memorial Statue on May 17, 1975.

The cast bronze statue is seven feet tall and weighs approximately 700 pounds. It was designed and built by Bobby Scroggins, a student at the Kansas City Art Institute. Today, he is an art professor at the University of Kentucky.

The statue is believed to be the first public monument erected to an African-American leader in the state of Missouri, and also the first public monument to be designed and constructed by an African-American artist in Missouri.

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