City of Memphis wants community input on I AM A MAN Plaza

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The renderings of the soon-to-be-build I AM A MAN Plaza, commemorating the Memphis Sanitation Strike of 1968, were released by the city of Memphis.

The plaza is going to be built at the corner of East Pontotoc Avenue and Hernando Street in the empty lot near Clayborn Temple.

Clayborn Temple played a vital role in the sanitation strike, with organizers often meeting in the church to plan marches. In fact, National Register of Historic Places recently classified Clayborn Temple as a 'nationally significant' location.

"This place is a tribute to that particular struggle and what happened here in Memphis," Ursula Madden, chief communications specialist for the city of Memphis, said. "The feelings from the committee was this is the project that the city of Memphis has to have."

A part of the initial design included adding 15-foot tall stainless-steel letters that read, "I Am A MAN."

The design is elaborate, and city officials say they want your input.

Madden said Memphians will have the chance to attend 4 community conversations.

"[We want] community feedback about what social justice means now and going forward," Madden said.

Designers will then find ways and places to incorporate the words of Memphians into the installation.

The goal is to make Memphis the epicenter for social justice and change.

"[A place] where people can come and gather peacefully, hold their protests, and have the hard conversations," Madden said.

The plaza is expected to be completed by the end of March 2018.

The first workshop and community conversation will take place Saturday, August 19 from 1 to 3 p.m. at New Chicago Community Development Corporation located on Firestone Avenue near the intersection of Breedlove Street.

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