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Marker for Evelyn Cheatham

On the Trail of Local Stories

Claiming Justice

A walking trail through downtown Santa Rosa, California which honors fourteen local activists.

Locations of all twelve markers for Claiming Justice: On the Trail of Local Stories.

How it works

You can use the map above to find the locations of the twelve markers.

Each marker is located flat on the side walk.

The markers all have QR codes.

Point the camera on your smart phone at the QR code, as if you were taking a picture. Your smart phone will then open a web page with information about the person on the marker.

At the top of that web page is an audio file. With your phone’s earbuds, you can listen to the story of this person’s life while you walk.

There are also written biographies in English and Spanish.

Platt Williams and Gibert Gray

About the project

Claiming Justice: On the Trail of Local Stories was conceived, created and executed by artist Kristen Throop. It is a collaborative project based on a year of research, 80 conversations (28 interviews) and eight pounds of notes. It has involved — research, tracking people down, careful listening, background reading, portraiture, crafting compelling and accurate narratives, recording then editing audio, web design, button manufacturing and public speaking.

The project has been guided by a determination to tell a deep and honest story about place and community.

Claiming Justice honors the work of 14 local activists. Their biographies provide an overview and context for their achievements. Their combined biographies paint a nuanced portrait of our community.

It’s Throop’s hope, that the walking trail will bring people together in communal space to learn more about the unique place that we live.

If the way you think about this community has changed once you have listened to these stories, then the project will have been a success.

More about the project

Midday Music with Doug Jayne
on KRCB, 104.9 FM

Interview with Doug Jayne and Anthony Tusler on Midday Music on KRCB, 104.9 FM. Kristen Throop and Anthony Tusler discuss their work with Doug Jayne and play music.

The interview starts one hour into the program.

“Each  person has achieved something unique. At the core of every story is a search for justice,” the artist behind the project, Kristen Throop,  said.

Press Democrat interview with Dan Taylor,
October 25, 2023.

New downtown Santa Rosa walking trail honors local activists

Photo by Alina Nuebel.

“More than 100 people turned out Sunday afternoon at the downtown Central Santa Rosa Library for a launch of a new public art project honoring local activists both past and present.”

Press Democrat article by Dan Taylor,
October 29, 2023.

Activists honored with Santa Rosa downtown art path“Claiming Justice” honors activists who have fought discrimination.

Photo by Jeff Kan Lee.

Thank you to

Santa Rosa Public Art Program/Economic Development:

Jessica Rasmussen, for her unfailing support and ingenuity

Tara Thompson, especially for Spanish translation for the project

Raissa De La Rosa

With gratitude for their sponsorship of this project

Creative Sonoma, past and present:

For bravely creating the ArtSurround program, providing the opportunity for 25 local artists to paid for their work, myself included

Kristen Madsen

Samantha Kimpel

Bernadette Marko

Debbie Yarrow

The Multicultural Roots Project:

Danielle Garduno

Daniel Chapparo

Their valuable research was essential

Santa Rosa Public Library

and the History and Genealogy Library

With special thanks to Jessica Romero, Joanna Kolosov, Bridget Hayes, Ray Holley and everyone else who patiently answered my questions

Rodney Fierce and his class at Sonoma Academy
studying Black America: Reconstruction to Civil Rights, particularly Charlie, Dohna, Joel and Ally for their assistance researching Richards, and to Sonoma Academy for sponsoring his marker

The Press Democrat

Ayrija Child, Allison Gibson, Chad Surmick

For assistance tracking historic photographs

and Dan Taylor for his reporting

Sonoma State University Library

Julie Dinkins and Hilary Smith

For help trying to track a historic photo

KRCB Radio 104.9 FM

and Doug Jayne, Midday Music

The interviewees:

Dinah Bachrach
Michael Bogan
Cathy Burgett

Laura Doty
Bernice Espinoza
Magi Fedorka
Aubrey Gray
Jim Gray
Bill Gray
Zeke Guzman
Larry Harper

Rick and Marna Hill
Lina Hoshino
Henry Kaku
David Katz

Lake Kowell
Reta Lockhart
Evette Minor
Philip Nakano
Nikki Omi
Erica Parker Alabi
Susan Shaw
Jim Sullivan
Jerry Threet
Charlie Toledo
Anthony Tusler
Joan Vilms
Dennis Williams

With appreciation for their help:

Phyllis Beals

Sonia Betts, for event assistance

Julian Billotte and Anna Wizarde, ArtSurround compatriots

Meira Bowcut, Commission on Human Rights

Melanie Carter Jones, for networking and vegetables
Marcus Clarke, for assistance with photos
Alisse Cottle, Brew

Kim Daly, for installation and event assistance

Alegría De La Cruz
Joy Dellas, for the loan of the button maker
Sue Dougherty, Stories That Matter

Rachel DuFour, for believing it would get done
Tina Dungan, LGBTQI+ Legacy Sonoma County
Jeff Elliot,
Anne Fitzgerald, for networking assistance

Claire Hall, for guidance on reporting

Elliot Kallen, for insight and kindness

Carol Kawase, NCWNP JACL District Governor
Kaylin Noblin, for creative advice

Michelle Kretchmer, for the Kretchmer caveat

Helga Lemke

Charlie Leys, for event assistance
Ellen Maremont Silver and Robyn Bramhall, for hot meals, networking and enthusiasm

Mark Thomas Home

Dalia Martinez, owner of the Naked Pig

Alina Nuebel, for laughter, artistic camaraderie and documentation

Keith Newsome, DDI Signs

Deependra Rai, Clone Digital, for his help replacing the stolen marker at the library

Riley Street Art Supply

Bill Shelley, for critique and advice on process

Bob Stender, Tibidabo Photography
Collin Thoma, Disability Services and Legal Center

Talatala Manasa Waqanicagica, Senior Pastor at City Harvest Center

Anabelle Wasserman, for strategic advice

Lisa Yoshida, attorney at law, Anderson Ziegler

Watercolor of Bernice Espinoza
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