Bay Area Cemeteries Partner with Nelson Mandela Foundation, NAACP to Erect Monument in His Honor

Skylawn Funeral Home and Memorial Park and Chapel of the Chimes partner with the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the NAACP to erect monument in Mandela’s honor. Photo credit: Matthew Willman

SAN MATEO, Calif. – April 16, 2014 – To reflect the lasting significance and worldwide impact of Nelson Mandela’s efforts to advance equality, diversity and social justice, Skylawn Funeral Home and Memorial Park and Chapel of the Chimes announced a partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Oakland chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) to create a permanent monument where people can gather to reflect upon and live Mandela’s legacy.


Skylawn and Chapel of the Chimes are inviting artists and designers to participate in a national design competition to create a permanent memorial in honor of the late Nelson Mandela. Open to all U.S. residents over 13 years of age, the contest kicked off April 15 and will close on May 15 at 5:00 p.m. PT.


The competition will be juried by visionaries and experts including:

·         Barbara Lee, U.S. Representative for California's 13th  congressional district

·         Alice Huffman, California State NAACP president

·         Rebecca Rolfe, San Francisco LGBT Center’s executive director

·         Naomi M. Kelly, city administrator for the city and county of San Francisco

·         David Lim, San Mateo councilmember

·         Neal Schwartz, California College of the Arts associate professor

·         David Montgomery, cemetery development and memorialization director for NorthStar Memorial Group


The monument, which will represent Mandela’s legacy and the embodiment of his life’s work, will serve to support the education and inspiration of younger generations and is an exciting opportunity for all participants. The Nelson Mandela Foundation will select the winning design which will be announced in June 2014. Skylawn will construct the winning design and permanently host the monument at its park, situated at the crest of Montara Mountain overlooking the Pacific Ocean, for the general public to visit in hopes that it will inspire people to learn more about Mandela’s contribution to humanity.


“We’re pleased to partner on this opportunity to give Bay Area residents a chance to honor Mandela and promote his desire for social justice and drive positive change every day,” said Sello Hatang, chief executive of the Nelson Mandela Foundation. “This memorial will symbolize the importance of ‘service to one’s fellow human,’ a mantra that will help current and future generations keep his legacy alive.”

The strong connection between the Bay Area and Mandela’s life and work dates back almost three decades when, in opposition to Mandela’s imprisonment, Oakland Congressman Ron Dellums drafted the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986. Demonstrations were conducted by thousands of Bay Area residents who rallied for civil rights and Mandela’s release from prison. Shortly following his release in 1990, he visited Oakland.


“Long known as the seat of activism, the Bay Area is one of the most ethnically diverse major metropolitan areas in the United States. It’s a fitting home for a monument that honors the great legacy of Nelson Mandela,” said George Holland, president of the Oakland NAACP branch. “The monument will ultimately inspire people and communities everywhere and will promote dialogue and inclusiveness as a platform for social change. It is truly a great way to honor Mandela’s contributions to world peace, human rights, social justice and democracy. Like Mandela, we hope to empower individuals to take action to help change the world for the better and to build a global movement for good.” 


The winning memorial design, which will be formed of rich granite, bronze or a combination thereof, will be built to withstand the test of time to maintain its integrity and beauty for generations. Skylawn and Chapel of the Chimes will fund the project from contest management through the production and installation of the final monument.


“Skylawn Funeral Home and Memorial Park and Chapel of the Chimes are proud sponsors of the Nelson Mandela memorial initiative,” said David Montgomery, cemetery development and memorialization director at Skylawn and Chapel of the Chimes. “We envision a memorial that will initiate the kind of dialogue and activism that will advance Mandela’s legacy and will continue to drive positive change.”


To learn more about the Nelson Mandela Memorial Design Competition or to submit your design, please visit here.



Skylawn Funeral Home and Memorial Park was established in 1959 as a non-sectarian cemetery in San Mateo, Calif., and a state-of-the-art funeral home was added in 2006. For more information, visit www.skylawnmemorialpark.com. (FD 1848)



Chapel of the Chimes Oakland and Chapel of the Chimes Hayward provide end-of-life services to families from diverse religious, ethnic and cultural backgrounds. For more information, visit www.oakland.chapelofthechimes.com and www.hayward.chapelofthechimes.com. (FD 1254) (FD 1240)  



The Nelson Mandela Foundation, a registered trust, is a human rights-oriented nonprofit organization. The Foundation delivers to the world an integrated and dynamic information resource on the life and times of Nelson Mandela, and promotes the search for sustainable solutions to critical social problems through memory-based dialogue interventions and tangible activations to realize the legacy of Nelson Mandela.






The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure the political, educational, social and economic quality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination.  

 MEDIA, PLEASE NOTE: To request high resolution images, to get more details on the Nelson Mandela memorial or to request an interview with David Montgomery of Skylawn Funeral Home and Memorial Park and Chapel of the Chimes, please contact Hilary Burns at (415) 359-2312; northstar@landispr.com or David Cumpston at (415) 359-2316.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »