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.
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.
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.