News & Insights

GPD’s Work on the Sojourner Truth Legacy Plaza

In celebration of Black History Month, we are spotlighting The Sojourner Truth Legacy Plaza in Akron, Ohio – a project that holds a special place in American history. To understand the significance of this project, it is important to understand the legacy of the woman it is honoring. Sojourner Truth, a formerly enslaved woman, was an abolitionist and women’s rights activist who used her voice and experiences to speak out against the racial injustices she faced as a black woman in the mid-1800s. In 1851, Truth attended the Ohio Women’s Convention in Akron, Ohio, where she delivered her now-famous “Ain’t I a Woman” speech. Truth spoke to a mostly white crowd and questioned the prevailing inequalities regarding race and gender.

The new plaza is located at the site of Truth’s famous speech so that we will never forget the power of her words and the changes she helped set into motion. The plaza will feature a life-size bronze sculpture of Sojourner Truth designed by Akron’s own Woodrow Nash. GPD provided architectural and engineering services to complement the new plaza that was designed by Summit Metro Parks’ Landscape Architect, Dion Harris. More than 30 GPD employees, including surveyors, architects, illustrators, and engineers, provided their talent with design, permitting, and construction administration to make the project possible.

The Sojourner Truth Legacy Plaza will be the first historic site in the City of Akron that honors the Black experience and serves as an outstanding example of community preservation. The GPD team is so proud to have contributed to this important project, one that not only pays homage to the indomitable legacy of Truth but also pushes our community forward.

The Sojourner Truth Legacy Plaza unveiling will take place on May 29, 2024 – the 173rd anniversary of Truth’s “Aint I a Woman” speech.

Click here to learn more about the project.