THE YEAR IS 1955
One year before the Clinton 12, two years before the Little Rock Nine and five years before Ruby Bridges, there was the Scarboro 85. These American heroes produced our nation’s first major victory over Jim Crow Segregation.
In 1955, Oak Ridge and 85 courageous young students from the Scarboro community made history and took this country a big step forward. We became the first public school in the Southeast to desegregate our schools.
It is a story that speaks of each individual student. It is a story that speaks of Oak Ridge and its values. For some time, a small group of visionary people have been quietly working on getting this story told. Demian & Wilbur architects from Washington DC have worked to create a truly striking and original monument for Bissell Park. It will honor those students, inspire us, and convey who we are to the many visitors and workers who come here.
- CURRENT CAMPAIGN PROGRESS 12% 12%
We have currently raised $340,000 of our goal of $2.9 million.
We need your help.
Preserve, Educate, Heal and Unify
These renderings from Demian & Wilbur Architects show the vision for the Scarboro 85 memorial in Bissell Park. We hope you will join us in honoring these civil rights heroes by bringing this monument to life, here in Oak Ridge.
A Note From Architect Ziad Demian
This Monument commemorates and celebrates the Scarboro 85. The monument also commemorates and celebrates the other important figures without whom the desegregation of Oak Ridge schools wouldn’t have happened. The monument consists of two wall-like elements approaching, facing and converging on each other and growing in height. One wall symbolizes the Scarboro students and educators along with their community of black workers who came to Oak Ridge from all over the south looking for opportunities. The other wall symbolizes the white scientific and professional community who came to Oak Ridge to work on the Manhattan project. Each wall-like element is composed of individual pillars of different shape and form, just like each person they represent.
It is envisioned that these standout pillars be differentiated in material while maintaining the shape and form of the void created by the pillars’ displacement. A platform located between the monument and Badger Avenue identifies the point where the lines of a direct view to Oak Ridge High School and Robertsville Middle school intersect. The sitting of the Scarboro 85 in Bissell Park in proximity and in harmony with the Friendship Bell Peace Pavilion emphasizes the strong relationship between them, thus further elevating the status of Bissell Park as a major stop along the Civil Rights Trail and Oak Ridge as a place that champions peace and Justice.
Contributions can be taken directly to Pinnacle Bank in Jackson Square or mailed to:
PO Box 4158, Oak Ridge 37831
Please make checks payable to United Way of Anderson County and note Scarboro 85 Monument