Community organizers have raised $300,000 to build a memorial to honor journalist and civil rights activist Ida B. Wells after a significant push from social media, reports the Chicago Tribune. Wells started several organizations to advocate for the equal rights and economic power of African-Americans in the Windy City and across the country.
The fundraiser garnered major attention thanks to the anniversary of Wells’ birth on July 16 and efforts by author Mariama Kaba and MacArthur “genius grant” winner Nikole Hannah-Jones.
Fundraising for the monument had been taken place for 10 years. But, Hannah-Jones fueled the donations by campaigning on Twitter for people to honor Wells. She announced on Tuesday, that “more than $40,000” was raised on Monday and allowed for the project to become reach its goal.
I have some BIG, BIG news. You guys gave more than $40,000 dollars for the Ida B. Wells monument yesterday and THE MONUMENT IS NOW FULLY FUNDED. This was the last big we needed to end @MichelleDuster and her family's 10-year effort to pay for this project. I want to cry.
— Ida Bae Wells (@nhannahjones) July 17, 2018
Michelle Duster, Wells’ great-granddaughter and co-chair of the Commemorative Art Committee, said over 900 people donated on Monday to acknowledge the women’s rights activist’s birthday. The money will go toward constructing a granite and bronze monument, which would be designed and built by sculptor Richard Hunt.
“There has been such an outpouring of support from the public,” Duster said. “I knew people appreciated her, but I didn’t know that the support for this project, which will only be in Chicago, would come from all over the country.” The memorial will be placed in the Bronzeville neighborhood near Wells’ old home.
The monument should be installed by the end of 2019.