California Memorial Project - Remembering and honoring those who were forgotten and a reminder that you are not alone

Over 45,000 people passed away while living in state institutions between the 1880’s to 1960’s including individuals with mental health and/or developmental disabilities.

California Memorial Project Remembering and honoring those who were forgotten and a reminder that you are not alone

 
Over 45,000 people passed away while living in state institutions between the 1880’s to 1960’s including individuals with mental health and/or developmental disabilities.

Living in institutions meant individuals were isolated from their families, friends, communities and often forgotten by society. As these individuals passed away, many were buried anonymously in unmarked or mass graves.

History of California Memorial Project

In 2002, Senator Chesbro introduced legislation SB 1448 to establish the California Memorial Project. The California Memorial Project seeks to honor and restore dignity to individuals who lived and died in California state institutions.

The mission is being accomplished through placing monuments, holding yearly remembrance ceremonies, documenting the peer movement, collecting oral histories, and restoring cemeteries.

In honor and memory of those who died and were buried anonymously on the Stockton institution grounds between 1852 and 1996. Let no person ever again be removed from the community by reason of disability.

Photo of a monument for the California Memorial Project
Photo of a monument for the California Memorial Project

Here lies our people, peers, and family members who walked the earth before us. Let us honor their memory by reclaiming and healing our past. Let no person ever be laid to rest without recognition. May our roots be forever entwined.

Today, Remembrance Day ceremonies are held annually the 3rd Monday in September at various locations throughout California.

To learn more about Remembrance Day events visit: https://californiamemorialproject.wordpress.com/.

In addition, please join us Monday, September 16th, 2019 for a statewide moment of silence at 1:55pm.

Gone, but no longer forgotten:
The California Memorial Project

 

As we remember those who were lost, we remind you that you are not alone. Today many individuals with disabilities live full and productive lives, helping one another and advocating for themselves to live the life they choose.

Disability Rights California Peer Self- Advocacy (PSA) program oversees the California Memorial Project and facilitates self-advocacy groups to teach people with mental health disabilities, their legal rights, develop self-advocacy skills, and provide peer support.

“We focus on teaching people how to advocate for themselves rather than providing direct advocacy for them. By training people to advocate for their rights, we empower and equip individuals to identify their goals and develop action plans to accomplish them. By doing this, we provide skills, strategies, and tools to help peers become successful self- advocates and achieve their life goals,” says Robyn Gantsweg, peer self- advocacy program manager.

For information on self-advocacy topics please visit our publication section at: https://www.disabilityrightsca.org/publications

For more information on our Peer Self-Advocacy Program, call Disability Rights California’s intake line at: 1-800-776-5746.