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Controversy Over "Jonestown" Memorial

OAKLAND, CA - On the morning of Monday, February 28, 2011, Dr. Jynona Norwood, founder and executive director of Jonestown Memorial Services & Wall, along with concerned citizens and community, civic, academia and ministerial leaders--Dr. Edgar Boyd, Rev. Amos Brown, Rev. Leonard Jackson, Bishop Bob Jackson, Rev. Eugene Lumpkin, Prof. Oba T'Shaka, Rev. Ed Norwood, Kola Thomas, Rabbi Steven Jacobs, Dr. J. Alfred Smith Jr., among others--will join fellow Jonestown supporter and activist Dr. Dick Gregory, and NAACP for a press conference and prayer vigil and rally at the Evergreen Cemetery to discuss the opposition they are facing in the construction of their memorial for the 918 victims of the Peoples Temple massacre in Jonestown. Jonestown survivors, families, and friends of victims will be on hand for the morning's activities. All are invited to share in this history-making event.

After over three decades of planning on the part of activist Dr. Jynona Norwood whose family lost 27 loved ones including her mother and three-month-old cousin Charles Garry Henderson--the youngest child to perish in Jonestown--a granite memorial wall was approved to be erected at Oakland, California's Evergreen Cemetery. The memorial was to be inscribed with the names of the victims along with those of Congressman Leo Ryan and members of his film crew and placed on the site where most of the African Americans and children who died in the 1978 Jonestown Massacre were laid to rest. Despite being previously approved by cemetery management, the memorial wall is now being opposed by a coalition led by Jim Jones' adopted son Jim Jones, Jr.--in part, because Dr. Norwood refused to allow the Peoples Temple leader's name to be included. Evergreen Cemetery has since alleged reasons for not erecting the wall, even though $30,000 has already been paid to Marin Monument Company (Evergreen Cemetery's recommended vendor) for the wall's construction, and the first stage has been completed. 



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