U.S. Department of the InteriorDOI News Header
Office of the Secretary
October 2, 2007
Shane Wolfe (DOI) 202-208-6416
Darren Boch (NPS) 212-668-2251


Secretary Kempthorne to Participate in Dedication of Memorial at African Burial Ground National Monument

Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne, on Friday, October 5, 2007, will speak at the dedication of a memorial at the African Burial Ground National Monument in New York City. The new memorial will honor the memories of the estimated 15,000 Africans buried at the original seven-acre site in the 17th and 18th centuries. The African Burial Ground was re-discovered in 1991, when construction began on a federal office building in lower Manhattan. The site was designated by President Bush as a national monument in February 2006, making it the 390th national park site to be managed by the National Park Service. The site is the largest and oldest African cemetery excavated in North America.

Who:Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne

Lurita Alexis Doan, Administrator, General Services Administration
Dan Wenk, Deputy Director, National Park Service
Congressman Charles Rangel
Congressman Jerrold Nadler
Lt. Governor David Paterson
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg
Maya Angelou, author, actress and activist
Dr. Adelaide Sanford, retired Vice Chancellor of the NY State Board of Regents
Rodney Léon, Memorial Designer
Edward Lewis, Founder & Chairman of Essence Communications, Inc. and African Burial Ground Monument Foundation President
Dr. James A.Forbes, Jr., Senior Minister Emeritus of the Riverside Church and African Burial Ground Monument Foundation Treasurer
Howard Dodson, Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and African Burial Ground Monument Foundation Secretary

What: Dedication of memorial at African Burial Ground National Monument
When:Friday, October 5 from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm
Where:African Burial Ground National Monument
Duane Street between Broadway & African Burial Ground Way (Elk Street)
More Info: http://www.nps.gov/afbg/

Credentialing & Check-in:

  • All media, with or without NYC press credentials, MUST pre-register for event credentials to gain access to the dedication ceremony site. To register, please call or email Darren Boch at 212-668-2251 or Darren_Boch@nps.gov or Laini Madhubuti at 212-491-2259 or lmadhubuti@nypl.org. Registration ends at 5:00 pm on Thursday, October 4. If leaving a voice or email message when registering, you MUST leave the name of the media outlet you represent, your name, as well as those of camera crews or photojournalists, and a contact phone number.
  • When checking in on October 5, media who have pre-registered must present a valid photo ID and/or NYC press credential indicating what organization they work for in order to receive their credential.
  • Press check-in for the 11:00 am, October 5 dedication will be at the northeast corner of Broadway and Duane near the security pavilion for 26 Federal Plaza. Check-in begins at 9:00 am and will end at 10:30 am. Media must check-in to receive an event credential and will not be granted access without one. Please allow time for security screening, including K-9 inspection.
  • All media granted a credential must remain in their designated press area during the ceremony. Only media credentialed to do so will be allowed to enter the memorial site itself to film and/or photograph the wreath laying ceremony.

Street Closures & Satellite Truck Parking:

  • Duane Street from Broadway to Lafayette and Elk Street from Chambers to Duane will be closed to vehicle and pedestrian traffic before and during the ceremony. The dedication ceremony will be shown live on a jumbo-tron in Foley Square on Lafayette Street, which will be open to the general public.
  • A limited number of parking spaces will be available for satellite trucks on the curb lane on the West side of Lafayette Street between Duane and Reade Streets, across the street from Foley Square. The spaces will be marked by cones and be open for satellite trucks by 8:30 am. Please call Darren Boch at 212-668-2251 if you plan on sending a truck.
— DOI —