US Rep. George Miller (D- Contra Costa) issued the following statement upon attending the dedication of a statue of civil rights icon Rosa L. Parks in the U.S. Capitol today. According to the National Endowment of the Arts, the statue of Parks, who famously refused to move to the back of the bus in Montgomery, AL on December 1, 1955, is the first full sized statue authorized and funded by Congress since 1873 and the first statue of an African American woman in the U.S. Capitol. Miller noted that the historic statue was co-created by a constituent from his congressional district, Dr. Rob Firmin, an architect who lives and works in Kensington, CA. Pictures that Miller took at the event can be seen here.
"This historic dedication ceremony today reminds us of the courage, determination, and resolve Ms. Parks displayed and embodied throughout the struggle for civil rights. Her peaceful resistance on a bus in Alabama 57 years ago ignited the modern civil rights movement and inspired millions around the world. Ms. Parks was a true pioneer, and it is a fitting tribute at the close of Black History Month that her likeness be the first African American, and the first woman, to join the ranks of our country's founders and shapers in the Statuary Hall in the Capitol. However, Rosa Parks' journey will not be complete, and we should not rest, until all are treated equally under the law in our country and no citizen is denied our enumerated rights, regardless of color, creed, gender, or who we love. As we dedicate this statue, I am mindful that it is our task to carry on what she began and make these rights and values a reality for every American.
"I am so proud that Dr. Rob Firmin, a constituent and an accomplished sculptor from Kensington, was an integral part of today's historic occasion. He and his studio partner, Eugene Daub, were selected from hundreds of submissions by the Joint committee on the Library of the United States Congress and have completed a truly stunning likeness of a true civil rights and American icon."
Congressman Miller and Dr. Firmin met after the ceremony in his Washington D.C. office.