New York Life Donates $500K Challenge Grant Toward Creation of Central Park's First Statues of Real Women
NEW YORK, November 28, 2016 - Pam Elam, President of the Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony Statue Fund Inc., announced today that a $500,000 Challenge Grant had been awarded to The Statue Fund by New York Life to help create the first statue of real women in the 163-year history of New York City's Central Park. Ms. Elam stated that presently New York City’s Central Park only includes statues of Mother Goose, Alice in Wonderland, Juliet (with her Romeo), and numerous representations of the female form (like angels, nymphs and allegorical figures).
Elam said, "The real women who helped build this city, state and nation were nowhere to be found – until now. The Stanton and Anthony Woman Suffrage Movement Monument will ensure that many of the 42 million people who visit Central Park each year will become more aware of a history that fully and fairly includes the vast and varied roles women have played in it. Our statue project will honor all the women who fought for the vote and the timing is right, as we get ready to celebrate the New York State Woman Suffrage Centennial in 2017; the National Woman Suffrage Centennial in 2020; and the 200th anniversary of the birth of Susan B. Anthony in 2020. Thank you, New York Life, for helping us achieve our goal."
Heather Nesle, President of the New York Life Foundation, noted the direct connection that New York Life had with Susan B. Anthony, stating, "New York Life is pleased to join The Statue Fund in honoring women in history. In addition to our commitment to diversity and women’s issues, this grant was appealing to us due to the proud historic relationship New York Life had with the Anthony family. Susan B. Anthony used money from her New York Life insurance policy to guarantee that women students would be admitted to the University of Rochester. In addition, Anthony's father and several male relatives were New York Life agents. We are pleased to support the effort of The Statue Fund to honor Anthony and all those who battled to achieve Votes for Women, the largest non-violent revolution in this Nation's history. We hope that every cent of the $500,000 New York Life Challenge Grant will be matched by donations from supporters of women's equality to help The Statue Fund meet its total budget target of $1.5 million dollars."
Pam Elam offered this summary of The Statue Fund's hopes, noting, "Let this statue be an instant history lesson for all the people who see it. Let this statue remind people to examine social change movements to learn from the past and do a better job of carrying on the fight for equal rights and justice in the future. Let this statue challenge municipalities across the nation to honor all those who have made their cities great by including tributes to women and people of color in their public spaces. But first and foremost, let's acknowledge the debt we owe to the valiant women who have come before us, be inspired by their legacies and complete their journeys toward equality."
The New York City Parks Department has approved both The Statue Fund's proposal for a statue with the two figures of Stanton and Anthony and the names of other suffragists included in the design as well as the statue location requested by The Statue Fund at Central Park West and West 77th Street. The Statue Fund is an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization and all contributions to the group are tax-exempt. For further information or to make a contribution to match the New York Life Challenge Grant, please contact The Statue Fund at www.monumentalwomen.org or Post Office Box 150-074, Van Brunt Station, Brooklyn, NY 11215.
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