Rodney Leon: 400 Years of Resistance to Slavery and Injustice: Black Public Art

Join us for a talk by Rodney Leon, an American architect of Haitian descent and the founder of Rodney Leon Architects. Leon is the designer of 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. He also designed the African Burial Ground National Monument in New York, the oldest and largest excavated burial ground for both free and enslaved Africans in North America, which commemorates the historic role slavery played in building New York. 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, New Jersey; and the Cultural Museum of African Art in Brooklyn.

Seat reservations are required for this free event.

This event is part of the UC Berkeley campus initiative to commemorate four hundred years of resistance to slavery and injustice since 1619. The anniversary provides an opportunity to delve into this history, understand the continuing impact of slavery and oppression, and explore the extraordinary struggles for freedom and justice continuously fought by African Americans. For more information, visit