On Saturday, July 15, 2017, Richmond, Virginia is honoring Maggie Walker. To celebrate the African American civil rights advocate whose birthday is on Saturday, a statue in her likeness will be unveiled. Walker was born on July 15, 1864, and died at the age of 70 on December 15, 1934. Saturday would have been the teacher and businesswoman's 153rd birthday.

The event will take place in the Jackson Ward neighborhood at the intersection of West Broad and Adams Street that is not far from where Walker used to live and near the Consolidated Bank and Trust Company she founded in 1903.

The unveiling is expected to be witnessed by Walker's family, city officials, and the public. Antonio "Toby" Mendez, the artist who built the statue, will also be there to see the unveiling of his masterpiece. According to Richmond's Mayor Levar Stoney, plans for constructing and erecting the Maggie Walker statue has been ongoing for nearly 20 years.

Other activities

Of course, the unveiling is the main event of the day at 10 a.m. However, there will be other activities as well. For instance, there will be walking tours of Maggie Walker's neighborhood in the National Historic Site. The tours start at 11 a.m. and are provided by Leadership Academy students. A reception will follow.

Walker's accomplishments

The statue is located in the community where Walker restored and furnished houses that have been designated today as a historic site. Maggie Walker is well-known for being the first female founder of a bank in the entire United States. She was an advocate for African Americans, women, and people with disabilities.

She was disabled and had to use a wheelchair during the later years of her life.

For people who are unable to walk, free rides are provided by Venture Richmond from RVA Trolley. There will be souvenirs and gifts for those who attend the event. Gifts include free admission to the Valentine Museum. The Black History Museum & Cultural Center will have refreshments and special Maggie Walker displays.

Some stores on Broad Street will open as early as 8 a.m. for those who want to do a little shopping while they are in the area. Some restaurants also have special discounts for people who attend the event and stop by for brunch or dinner.

Second Richmond event

Richmond, Virginia is a city that believes in giving honor where honor is due. This is the second event this week where Richmonders got together to honor one of their own. On Wednesday, July 12, the community paid tribute to Richmond native and professional tennis player Arthur Ashe. A tunnel with a mural that represents Ashe's life was unveiled in Battery Park.