Rodney Leon on Black Public Art

Location 
BAMPFA, 2155 Center Street, Berkeley
Date 
February 18, 2020
Time 
12pm - 2pm

Visit this page for a video recording of this event.

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Rodney Leon flierTalk Title: Rodney Leon on Black Public Art: Paying Homage to the Ancestors
Location: BAMPFA, 2155 Center Street, Berkeley
Date: Feb. 18, 2020
Time: 12pm - 2pm

This event is free, but reservations are required.

Please join us for a talk by Rodney Leon on his works acknowledging the tragedy of the trans Atlantic slave trade and the critical presence of Africans in early New York City. Mr. Leon is the designer of the “The Ark of Return”, the permanent United Nations memorial dedicated to victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade located at UN headquarters in New York City. He also designed the African Burial Ground National Monument in New York, the oldest and largest known excavated burial ground in North America for both free and enslaved Africans which protects the historic role slavery played in building New York. This talk is part of our Research to Impact series.

Rodney Leon headshotSpeaker Bio: Rodney Leon is an American architect of Haitian descent and the founder of Rodney Leon Architects. Mr. Leon is the designer of the "The Ark of Return", the permanent United Nations memorial dedicated to victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade located at UN headquarters in New York City.  He also designed the African Burial Ground National Monument in New York, the oldest and largest known excavated burial ground in North America for both free and enslaved Africans which protects the historic role slavery played in building New York. Mr. Leon specializes in urban planning projects with cultural and religious significance for faith based, cultural and international development organizations. He has focused his professional efforts and developed expertise in modern “Culturally Contextual” design which uses history and culture to promote a more expansive and inclusive language of contemporary architecture. Current projects include Master Planning and Memorialization for the Historic Mount Zion Cemetery in Georgetown, Washington DC; The Enslaved African Memorial Committee in Teaneck, NJ; and for the Cultural Museum of African Art in Brooklyn, NY.

“The African Burial Ground National Monument serves to educate current and future generations about the extreme sacrifices and profound contributions made by enslaved African-descendant communities to the building of our great city and country. The memorial is meant to provide our ancestors with the acknowledgement, dignity and respect in death that they were not afforded in life". Rodney Leon

This event is organized by the Othering & Belonging Institute, with support from the United Nations Association, USA, San Francisco; the UC Berkeley Library; BAMPFA; Rachel Morello-Frosch, and David Eifler.

Note: This event is wheelchair accessible. To request ASL/captioning, or other accessibility services contact takiyah.franklin@berkeley.edu. Requests made within three weeks of the event may be difficult to arrange depending on the availability of the of service provider.

Kindly refrain from wearing scented products.

Photo of the Ark of Return memorial at the UN headquarters in New York
"The Ark of Return" is a permanent United Nations memorial to slavery at the UN headquarters in New York City designed by architect Rodney Leon.