Union County residents who are looking for a way to commemorate Transgender Day of Remembrance are invited to join the Union County Freeholder Board, the family of transgender activist Marsha P. Johnson, the City of Elizabeth, the organization Garden State Equality, and the Union County Office of LGBTQ Affairs in building a monument to honor Union County’s own Marsha P. Johnson.

“As the final day in Transgender Awareness Week, the Day of Remembrance is a solemn reminder that everyone in our community has an equal right to live in safety and dignity,” said Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella. “Marsh P. Johnson made equality her life’s work, and with this monument we carry on her message of freedom and liberty.”

“By honoring the memory of those we admire, public monuments reflect who we are. I am proud of our community for recognizing Marsh P. Johnson as a leader in the continued fight to realize the ideals of liberty and equality upon which our nation was founded,” said Freeholder Rebecca Williams, who is the liaison to the Union County LGBTQ Ad Hoc Committee.

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Marsha P. Johnson was a pioneer of the Stonewall uprising, an Andy Warhol model, an actress, and a revolutionary activist. She is perhaps best known as one of the main instigators of the 1969 riots at the Stonewall Inn, widely considered to be the event that kicked off the modern LGBTQ rights movement. She died in 1992 at age 46.

The Freeholder Board and partners have been working toward the creation of a monument in her honor with the help of contributions from the community, and the participation of local artists.

To contribute to the Marsha P. Johnson monument online, visit GardenStateEquality.org or charity.gofundme.com/mpjstatue. Contributions in excess of costs will go to establish a scholarship fund.

Artists who interested in submitting a design for the monument can find the submission details online at the Union County Office of LGBTQ Affairs at ucnj.org/lgbtq, or contact Danni Newbury, Office Coordinator, at 908-527-4742 or dnewbury@ucnj.org.

For more information and updates on all Union County services during the COVID-19 outbreak, including the Drive-Through Test Center at Kean University and the Mobile Test Unit walk-up sites, visit ucnj.org/covid19. General information about COVID-19 and updates on statewide vaccine planning are available through the New Jersey Department of Health at nj.gov/health.

For all Union County programs and services visit ucnj.org, call the Public Info Line, 877-424-1234, email info@ucnj.org or use the online Contact Form.

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