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City Manager's Office
Press Contact: Matthai Chakko, (510) 981-7008

BLOCK PARTY CELEBRATING BERKELEY CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER
Sunday July 17: food, documentary screenings, music, art and sculpture unveiling

Berkeley, California (Thursday, July 14, 2016) - Join your neighbors on Sunday July 17 for an afternoon block party honoring Berkeley civil rights leader William Byron Rumford.

This free public event will feature music, food, film screenings, kids' activities and festivities aimed at building community by celebrating the life and legacy of Mr. Rumford, a key player in the Civil Rights movement in California.

Mr. Rumford (1908-1986) was the first African American elected to a state public office in Northern California. Among other achievements as a California Assembly memberRumford, he authored groundbreaking legislation which banned discrimination in employment (1959) and housing (1963). These laws helped to pave the way for similar federal legislation. In addition to his public service at the state level, Rumford played an integral role in the South Berkeley community where he lived for 50 years. He owned and operated a pharmacy at 2960 Sacramento Street from 1942 until 1981 which now houses a clinic named in his honor.

William Byron Rumford Block Party
Sacramento Street, between Julia Street and Ashby Avenue
July 17, 2016, noon to 5 pm
Documentary Screening: 1:30 pm, 4 pm
Sculpture Unveiling: 3 pm

A sculpture of the late Mr. Rumford will permanently celebrate his achievements and will stand directly across the street from his historic pharmacy. The work is a project of the Public Art Program of the City of Berkeley and the statue will become part of the permanent collection of the City of Berkeley. The Civic Arts Commission engaged artist Dana King to create the piece. Additional funding for the work was raised by the South Berkeley Legacy Project.  

The event is a  public-private partnership between the City of Berkeley and the South Berkeley Legacy Project to build on recommendations made in the Sacramento Street Action Plan of 2014. Merchants and neighbors developed the action plan with help from the City to address neighborhood concerns by outlining concrete priorities for business and neighborhood improvements.

For more information about the event contact: info@rumfordproject.org

For more information about Berkeley Civic Arts Program and the Sacramento Street Commercial District contact: ecodev@cityofberkeley.info or (510) 981-7530

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