Monumental Women Project

Monumental Women Project We support communities in making and preserving women’s history through art. #MWomenProject The Monumental Women Project works to honor influential women of the University of Chicago in the form of public art.

Many women who have left a mark in history deserve to be heard and remembered on campus. Their legacies are what will continue to inspire the next generation of women, students, faculty, and visitors who pass through the halls of this great University. Currently, Monumental Women is working to honor Dr. Georgiana Simpson and Dean Marion Talbot. The project was founded by third years Asya Akca and Shae Omonijo.

Mission: To support communities in making and preserving women’s history through art.

Operating as usual

“What has been lost in this cathartic moment of tearing down monuments which glorify centuries of slavery, white suprema...
06/29/2020
Commentary: The missing faces of Black women among our public monuments

“What has been lost in this cathartic moment of tearing down monuments which glorify centuries of slavery, white supremacy, and racial capitalism, is what we plan on putting up in their place. It’s easy for our elected officials to take down monuments, but it’s even harder to do the work of intentionally curating monuments that honor black women. If we do not hold our elected officials and greater communities accountable to committing to erect new monuments that present a more honest account of this nation’s history, we’re not addressing the full extent of the problem.”

Our founders recently published an op-ed in Chicago Tribune Opinion highlighting the need to shift the national conversation on monuments to honoring the black women in our nation’s history! Check it out here:

As the debate over monuments sweeps across America, it is critical to discuss what is missing.

The Monumental Women Project is thrilled to announce the second installment of the Dr. Georgiana Rose Simpson Scholarshi...
03/05/2020

The Monumental Women Project is thrilled to announce the second installment of the Dr. Georgiana Rose Simpson Scholarship Fund for Academic Year 2020-21.
Help keep Dr. Simpson’s legacy alive through this scholarship— inspiring the next generation of trailblazing, history-making The University of Chicago student leaders.

Make a gift today using this link: https://crowdfunding.uchicago.edu/?cfpage=project&project_id=32982&t=1583364076
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#MonumentalWomen #Monuments #WomenRule #WomenArtists #PublicArt #Museums #blackart #blackartists #womensempowerment #womenfounder #women #UChicago #Chicago #DC #UniversityofChicago #hiddenfigures #blackwomen #girlboss #bosslady #culture #culturalheritage #tbt #womensmarch #blackgirlsrock #blackgirlmagic #history #womenshistory

Two years ago we officially unveiled the Dr. Simpson Monument at The University of Chicago! We’re so thankful for all th...
11/29/2019

Two years ago we officially unveiled the Dr. Simpson Monument at The University of Chicago! We’re so thankful for all the people in our lives that made this happen!
(Pictured: Asya (L) Fmr. Senator Carol Moseley Braun, first African American female U.S. Senator (M) and Shae (R))
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#happythanksgiving #tbt #blackwomenrock #blackgirlmagic✨ #grateful #monumentalwomen #womensupportingwomen #womenempowerment #womenartists #thankful #thanksgivingday

Happy Birthday to the truly monumental woman, @valeriebjarrett ! We were so honored to introduce Ms. Jarrett at our 2018...
11/15/2019

Happy Birthday to the truly monumental woman, @valeriebjarrett ! We were so honored to introduce Ms. Jarrett at our 2018 class day convocation ceremonies @uchicago 💕
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#valeriejarrett #MonumentalWomen #Monuments #WomenRule #WomenArtists #PublicArt #Museums #blackart #blackartists #womensempowerment #womenfounder #HBCU #UChicago #Chicago #DC #UniversityofChicago #hiddenfigures #blackwomen #girlboss #bosslady #culture #culturalheritage #tbt #womensmarch #blackgirlsrock #blackgirlmagic #history #womenshistory #tbt

We love our new city! #monumental
09/03/2019

We love our new city! #monumental

We are pleased to announce that the Monumental Women Project is now a Non-Profit in DC! We look forward to continuing to...
08/19/2019

We are pleased to announce that the Monumental Women Project is now a Non-Profit in DC! We look forward to continuing to work with communities to honor more women through public art. Visit our website to learn more about our efforts (monumentalwomenproject.com)
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#MonumentalWomen #Monuments #WomenRule #WomenArtists #PublicArt #Museums #blackart #blackartists #womensempowerment #womenfounder #HBCU #UChicago #Chicago #DC #UniversityofChicago #hiddenfigures #blackwomen #girlboss #bosslady #culture #culturalheritage #tbt #womensmarch #blackgirlsrock #blackgirlmagic #history #womenshistory #nonprofit #thewing @ The Wing

We’re so proud of Nadaya, the first recipient of the Dr. Georgiana Rose Simpson Scholarship. She is nearing the end of h...
03/26/2019

We’re so proud of Nadaya, the first recipient of the Dr. Georgiana Rose Simpson Scholarship. She is nearing the end of her first year at The University of Chicago and is absolutely killing it. Comment below on a woman that inspires you !
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#MonumentalWomen #Monuments #WomenRule #WomenArtists #PublicArt #Museums #blackart #blackartists #womensempowerment #womenfounder #UChicago #Chicago #DC #UniversityofChicago #blackwomen #girlboss #bosslady #culture #culturalheritage #tbt #womensmarch #history #womenshistory #womenshistorymonth

A year ago today🎂, the Monumental Women Project unveiled the first public monument honoring an African-American woman in...
11/28/2018

A year ago today🎂, the Monumental Women Project unveiled the first public monument honoring an African-American woman in the city of Chicago.

In 1921, Dr. Georgiana Rose Simpson (AB 1911, AM 1920, PhD 1921) was awarded a doctorate in German Philology at The University of Chicago, making her one of the first African American women to earn a PhD in the United States. 📚🥇

You can visit the bronze bust of Dr. Georgiana R. Simpson inside the Reynolds Club at UChicago. #SimpsonYearOne #SimpsonMWP

Who else is looking forward to @michelleobama 's upcoming book tour ?! ........#SimpsonMWP #MWomenProject #MonumentalWom...
10/27/2018

Who else is looking forward to @michelleobama 's upcoming book tour ?! .
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#SimpsonMWP #MWomenProject #MonumentalWomanMonday #MonumentalWomen #Monuments #WomenRule #WomenArtists #PublicArt #Museums #blackart #blackartists #womensempowerment #womenfounder #HBCU #UChicago #Chicago #DC #UniversityofChicago #hiddenfigures #blackwomen #girlboss #bosslady #culture #culturalheritage #tbt #womensmarch #blackgirlsrock #michelleobama #becoming #globalgirlsalliance

“When I visited UChicago's campus, my dad and I specifically sought out the bust. It's inspiring to see that a project h...
10/24/2018

“When I visited UChicago's campus, my dad and I specifically sought out the bust. It's inspiring to see that a project has quickly made a positive impact on one of the top universities in the world. Representation matters now more than ever.”
-Grace, Kentucky Country Day School Senior & Louisville Girls Leadership Co-Chair

🎂 The anniversary of the unveiling of the Dr. Simpson bust at The University of Chicago is approaching (11.28.18). Help us celebrate by tagging a photo with the Simpson Bust & adding: #SimpsonYearOne #SimpsonMWP

We were so luck to work with Preston Jackson, a prominent local chicago artist, to commission the Dr. Simpson bust. Foll...
10/08/2018

We were so luck to work with Preston Jackson, a prominent local chicago artist, to commission the Dr. Simpson bust. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter (@MWomenProject) to learn more about our partnerships!

It is with great honor that we present Nadaya Davis, the first recipient of the Dr. Georgiana Rose Simpson Scholarship A...
06/12/2018

It is with great honor that we present Nadaya Davis, the first recipient of the Dr. Georgiana Rose Simpson Scholarship Award. We established the award to assist an incoming first year with adjusting to life at the University of Chicago. When Dr. Simpson was an incoming first year at the University of Chicago she faced racism in her dorm and was eventually asked to leave by the President of the University at the time. This scholarship is committed to ensuring that incoming women at the University of Chicago feel welcomed and more financially secure when beginning their coursework!

Learn More about Nadaya Davis:

"My name is Nadaya Davis, and I come from the neighborhood of Humboldt Park in Chicago, Illinois. When I was younger, growing up in the suburbs was difficult for me, surrounded by those of much higher privilege and socioeconomic standard. But, after moving to Chicago at a young age and beginning to grow, I’ve come to terms with myself as a woman of color from a lower class background. Through all the setbacks, I am proud of who I am, and I am proud of my people. I’ve taken this immense amount of pride and made sure to let my voice be heard in school and outside of school, especially during my junior year of high school: I helped create a student-led march based on diversity, targeting those who are underrepresented and discriminated against in society. Its purpose was to spread positivity, showing the world that we collectively uphold principles of love and acceptance. "

02/02/2018
Honoring Dr. Georgiana Simpson

Happy #BlackHistoryMonth ! See a few highlights from the Unveiling Ceremony for the Dr. Georgiana Rose Simpson Bronze Bust at The University of Chicago

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ScG5eLtD3lk

#BlackMonuments #SimpsonMWP

Dr. Georgiana Rose Simpson (AB 1911, AM'20 PhD '21), who in 1921 became the first African-American woman to earn a PhD from the University of Chicago and one...

Today, the UChicago Germanic Studies Department honored Dr. Georgiana Rose Simpson in its seminar room in Wieboldt Hall ...
01/12/2018

Today, the UChicago Germanic Studies Department honored Dr. Georgiana Rose Simpson in its seminar room in Wieboldt Hall at The University of Chicago.

We would like to thank the Department for continuing to bring Dr. Simpson's legacy to life at the University. You can stop by Wieboldt Room 206 to see the portrait of Dr. Simpson and read a copy of her Doctoral Dissertation and Master's Thesis.

Dr. Simpson completed her dissertation entitled “Herder’s Conception of Das Volk.” In 1921, Simpson was awarded a doctorate in German Philology, making her one of the first African American women to earn a PhD in the United States.

#SimpsonMWP #MonumentalWomenProject

We hope Dr. Simpson will inspire the next generations of academics !#SimpsonMWP
12/23/2017
Because of Them We Can by Eunique Jones

We hope Dr. Simpson will inspire the next generations of academics !

#SimpsonMWP

The University of Chicago now has a statue of Georgiana Rose Simpson, the first Black woman to receive a PhD from the university, that will sit in the same area that was once only made available to white men.

Photos by Beth Rooney.Thank you to all of our sponsors: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; the Center for the Study of Ra...
12/07/2017

Photos by Beth Rooney.

Thank you to all of our sponsors: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture; Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality; UChicago Arts Student Creativity Grant; Office of the Provost; Reynolds Club Endowment Fund; Student Engagement Fund and Student Government.

Thank you to the Honorable Carol Moseley Braun, the First African American Woman U.S. Senator for celebrating with us.

Photos by Beth Rooney.

Thank you to all of our sponsors: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture; Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality; UChicago Arts Student Creativity Grant; Office of the Provost; Reynolds Club Endowment Fund; Student Engagement Fund and Student Government.

Thank you to the Honorable Carol Moseley Braun, the First African American Woman U.S. Senator for celebrating with us.

Photos by Beth Rooney.On November 28th, 2017 the Monumental Women Project hosted the Unveiling Ceremony for the Bronze B...
12/07/2017

Photos by Beth Rooney.
On November 28th, 2017 the Monumental Women Project hosted the Unveiling Ceremony for the Bronze Bust of Dr. Georgiana Rose Simpson, one of the first African-American Women to earn a PhD in the U.S.

Our Speakers Included:
Provost Daniel Diermeier
Dr. Melissa Gilliam, Vice Provost for Academic Leadership, Advancement, and Diversity
Mrs. Loann J. Honesty King, Central Region and Theta Omega Chapter Historian, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.
Preston Jackson, Sculptor of the Bronze Bust, Professor Emeritus, Sculpture Department, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Jennifer Kennedy, MWP Advisor & Director of Community Development and Operations at Reynolds Club
Asya Akca, Monumental Women Project Co-Founder
Shae Omonijo, Monumental Women Project Co-Founder

Photos by Beth Rooney.
On November 28th, 2017 the Monumental Women Project hosted the Unveiling Ceremony for the Bronze Bust of Dr. Georgiana Rose Simpson, one of the first African-American Women to earn a PhD in the U.S.

Our Speakers Included:
Provost Daniel Diermeier
Dr. Melissa Gilliam, Vice Provost for Academic Leadership, Advancement, and Diversity
Mrs. Loann J. Honesty King, Central Region and Theta Omega Chapter Historian, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.
Preston Jackson, Sculptor of the Bronze Bust, Professor Emeritus, Sculpture Department, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Jennifer Kennedy, MWP Advisor & Director of Community Development and Operations at Reynolds Club
Asya Akca, Monumental Women Project Co-Founder
Shae Omonijo, Monumental Women Project Co-Founder

12/04/2017
EmPower Hour

Have a look at our post-unveiling remarks with Empower Hour!

Thanks for having us on your show

LIVE with Shae Omonijo and Asya Akca, the 2 students responsible for raising the veil on the Monumental achievement of Dr. Simpson . Simpson was the first African American women to graduate with a PhD from U of C after she was kicked out of the dorms for the color of her skin!

Last night on University of Chicago's campus thebbronze bust of Dr. Georgiana Rose Simpson was unveiled in the halls of the Reynolds Club.

Tune in live on FB page, download the UBM app or log into UrbanBroadcastMedia.com to her all about this Alpha Kappa Alpha woman, Dr. Georgiana R. Simpson.

Call in with questions and join the conversation at 312-754-4333.

#EmPowerHour #UBM #Women #SimpsonMWP

Last night, history was made. Dr. Georgiana Rose Simpson’s bronze bust took its permanent place at the University of Chi...
11/29/2017

Last night, history was made. Dr. Georgiana Rose Simpson’s bronze bust took its permanent place at the University of Chicago. Her legacy lives on; her story is being told.

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the Unveiling Ceremony!
We will be sharing more photos from the event soon! #SimpsonMWP

Doors open at 5:30PM this evening. The program will begin promptly at 6PM. We are looking forward to seeing everyone at ...
11/28/2017

Doors open at 5:30PM this evening. The program will begin promptly at 6PM.

We are looking forward to seeing everyone at the Unveiling Ceremony. Please join the conversation the conversation online using the hashtag #SimpsonMWP.

We look forward to hosting the Unveiling Ceremony for the Dr. Georgiana R. Simpson Bronze Bust tomorrow evening !#Simpso...
11/28/2017
Chicago Tribune

We look forward to hosting the Unveiling Ceremony for the Dr. Georgiana R. Simpson Bronze Bust tomorrow evening !

#SimpsonMWP

For decades, Georgiana Rose Simpson's role as the first black woman to receive a doctorate from the University of Chicago has gone largely unknown. Until now.

Join the Founders of the Monumental Women Project in honoring Dr. Georgiana Rose Simpson’s legacy at the Unveiling Cerem...
11/18/2017

Join the Founders of the Monumental Women Project in honoring Dr. Georgiana Rose Simpson’s legacy at the Unveiling Ceremony on November 28th at The University of Chicago. As one of the first African American women to earn a PhD in the United States, Dr. Simpson's life and scholarship have paved the way for women across all academic disciplines.

Haven’t registered yet for the event? RSVP Here:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/unveiling-ceremony-for-the-bronze-bust-of-dr-georgiana-r-simpson-tickets-39302151794

#SimpsonMWP #MonumentalWomenProject
Unveiling Ceremony for the Dr. Georgiana R. Simpson Bronze Bust

In a little over two weeks, we will be hosting the Unveiling Ceremony for the Dr. Georgiana R. Simpson Bronze Bust. RSVP...
11/14/2017
Hyde Park Herald

In a little over two weeks, we will be hosting the Unveiling Ceremony for the Dr. Georgiana R. Simpson Bronze Bust. RSVP now through the event page!

Check out the Hyde Park Herald's pre-event coverage of the Unveiling Ceremony below:

#SimpsonMWP

Monument to be unveiled honoring the first African-American woman to receive a Ph.D. from U. of C.

In exactly one month, the Monumental Women Project will have its Unveiling Ceremony for the bronze bust of Dr. Georgiana...
10/28/2017
Unveiling Ceremony for the bronze bust of Dr. Georgiana R. Simpson

In exactly one month, the Monumental Women Project will have its Unveiling Ceremony for the bronze bust of Dr. Georgiana R. Simpson!

Nov. 28 - Mandel Hall - 6PM

Join us in celebrating Simpson's accomplishments by registering through Eventbrite.
#SimpsonMWP #MonumentalWomenProject

The Monumental Women Project welcomes you to the unveiling ceremony of the Dr. Georgiana Rose Simpson (AB 1911, AM'20 PhD '21) Bronze Bust in Reynolds Club. As one of the first African American women to earn a PhD in the United States, Dr. Simpson's life and scholarship have paved the way for women…

Fall Quarter is quickly approaching and we couldn’t be more excited about unveiling the bronze bust of Dr. Georgiana Sim...
08/22/2017
Busting barriers | The University of Chicago Magazine

Fall Quarter is quickly approaching and we couldn’t be more excited about unveiling the bronze bust of Dr. Georgiana Simpson on campus in a few, short months! 🍂 Many thanks to University of Chicago Magazine for featuring the #MonumentalWomenProject in its most recent edition!🎉Check it out here:

“Almost a century ago, [Dr. Georgiana] Simpson, AB 1911, AM 1920, PhD 1921, made history as the first African American woman at UChicago—and one of the first in the nation—to earn a doctorate. And soon her likeness will be a daily sight for students walking through the #ReynoldsClub.”

“It’s important to leave something behind, to say: this is what women can accomplish when their stories aren’t hidden,” [Shae Omonijo says]... In an effort to make sure Simpson’s accomplishments are not forgotten, rising fourth-years Asya Akca and Shae Omonijo have raised about $30,000 for a bronze bust of the pioneering scholar, to be unveiled in the Reynolds Club this fall.” #MonumentalWomenProject

There isn’t much to remind anyone that Georgiana Simpson was here—just a few documents in the Special Collections Research Center, her biography and photo on a University website. A slim hardcover copy of her master’s thesis, a study of an 11th-century German poem, is tucked away in the stacks of Ma...

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Comments

Excellent. FYI, the College Language Association has an affiliate segment called the Georgiana Simpson Society for German Diaspora Studies. One of our goals is to produce African American German teachers and professor. The Association is holding its annual Conference this week at the Holiday Inn-Merchandise Mart. The history of the College Language Association is akin to the struggles that Dr. Simpson had to endure. The Association was founded by Black English and Language Professor to serve the scholarly interests of Black professors. Continue the good work.
This is such an exciting project! I am working on mapping women's monuments and historic sites in the US and will be following your progress. I've already added Simpson to the map!
Wonderful story in this morning's Tribune. Inspired!