The Kellogg Foundation has occasionally invested in monuments, memorials and outreach documenting the history of leaders in the fight for racial equity. As part of this legacy, the following memorials represented a few opportunities for the Foundation to help preserve and share this important history with future generations.
Underground Railroad – The Underground Railroad monument was built in 1993 and is located near the Kellogg House, in the Kellogg Foundation’s backyard in downtown Battle Creek, Michigan. It is the nation’s largest monument to the Underground Railroad, at 28-feet long, and 14-foot high. This statue, designed by sculptor Ed Dwight, depicts abolitionist Harriet Tubman and local “conductors” Erastus and Sarah Hussey as they lead a group of runaway slaves to safety. During the 1840s and 1850s, historians estimate that 1,500 slaves passed through the Battle Creek area enroute to freedom in Canada. The Underground Railroad monument is one of three sites in Michigan that are part of the National Park Services’ Network to Freedom program.
The Kellogg Foundation provided support for the monument as well as programs to develop outreach and education for youth and adults, including an interactive “Flight to Freedom Exhibit” telling the stories of those who served as conductors, leaders, providers of safe refuge, and the ultimate survivors.
Learn more about this Underground Railroad Monument.
Sojourner Truth– As one of Battle Creek’s most famous citizens, Sojourner Truth’s support of women’s rights and the abolishment of slavery, have marked her as one of the greatest civil rights activists in our nation’s history. In 1993, a citizen’s group in Battle Creek gathered to begin a journey to honor her legacy with a physical monument. The Kellogg Foundation was one of the local supporters for this memorial for Sojourner Truth, who lived in Battle Creek for more than twenty years until her death in 1883. The Foundation supported a challenge grant during the planning phase, and funded various programs for local outreach and education. This monument was dedicated in September 1999, and was designed by sculptor Tina Allen.
For more information, visit the Sojourner Institute.
African American Civil War Memorial Freedom Foundation– Working closely with this organization, the Kellogg Foundation funded programs focusing on education and outreach to young people to learn and better understand the role of African American soldiers in the Civil War. Part of this outreach also included the development of curriculum for teachers to share an accurate understanding of African American participants in both sides of the war, along with the creation of a companion video. Other program funding provided training for museum docents, and creating and facilitating a relationship between the African American Civil War Memorial Freedom Foundation and the National Parks Service. The memorial is located at 1200 U Street, in Washington, DC, and was unveiled in 1999.
For more information, visit the African American Civil War Memorial Freedom Foundation.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Foundation– In January 2008, the Kellogg Foundation announced its grant for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial to recognize, honor and promote the legacy of the civil rights pioneer. This grant is a tangible expression of the Foundation’s commitment and leadership to racial equity. The planned memorial is to be constructed in Washington, DC as a permanent testament to the American civil rights leader. The memorial will have three underlying themes: justice, democracy, and hope. Dr. King will be the first African American honored with his own memorial in the National Mall area and the third non-President to be commemorated in such a way. The memorial will be adjacent to the Roosevelt Memorial and will create a visual “line of leadership” from the Lincoln Memorial, where Dr. King gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Ceremonial groundbreaking for the structure occurred in 2006, with construction to be completed in 2009.
For more information, visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Foundation.