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Allendale woman raising money to put 'Black Lives Matter' bricks at site of controversial statue

Allendale Twp. Confederate Soldier Statue
Posted at 10:19 PM, Mar 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-14 22:28:44-04

ALLENDALE TWP., Mich. — A lack of representation for people of color is inspiring Jessica Miller to bring that representation to the Veterans Garden of Honor in Allendale Township.

The garden is the site of a controversial Civil War statue, which features a Confederate soldier and slave child. Over the past several months there have been calls for its removal, its future is still undecided.

“We need as much funding as we can to get this through and start creating some equity in our community. Hopefully make a little bit of change one stone at a time,” Miller said.

It’s not stone, but bricks that Miller wants to change. Specifically, the ones that lay in front of all the statues in the park.

Many are engraved with names of donors, or in memoriam of veterans. Miller wants more than a dozen new ones to represent people and veterans of color.

“I'm hoping to be able to do 20 bricks with Black or indigenous veteran's names listed on those bricks with 'Black Lives Matter', or 'Indigenous Lives Matter' on the brick with the name,” Miller explained.

Miller has already raised enough money for six bricks, though in the long run she says the garden still needs one major change.

“They need to remove the statue, I mean, that's something we are not backing down on,” Miller added.

Allendale Township has a form that people can fill out and mail with a $75 donation to get a brick in someone's honor at the park.

FOX 17 reached out to the township to find out if there are any rules or other things that would prevent this group from doing this and are waiting to hear back.