Mary McLeod Bethune Memorial

A bronze statue of Mary McLeod handing a paper that represents her legacy to two young children.
The Mary McLeod Bethune Memorial was unveiled on the 99th anniversary of Bethune's birth.

NPS / Claire Hassler

Quick Facts
Washington, DC
Civil Rights leader, first statue of woman in DC, first statue of African American in DC, erected by the National Council of Negro Women

Historical/Interpretive Information/Exhibits, Public Transit, Wheelchair Accessible

Mary McLeod Bethune was a world-renowned educator, civil rights leader, women's rights activist, presidential advisor, and public servant. In 1935, she founded the National Council of Negro Women, Inc. (NCNW), a powerful organization that united a variety of African American women's groups for Civil Rights. The Mary McLeod Bethune Memorial in Lincoln Park was the first memorial to honor an African American built on public land in Washington, DC, and it was the first portrait statue of an American woman on a public site in the city.

Sculptor: RobertĀ Berks

Mary McLeod Bethune
Let her works praise her (written in cursive script)
July 10, 1974
by the
National Council of Negro Women, Inc.
Dorothy I. Height
Bronze band
I Leave You Love * I Leave You Hope * I Leave You the Challenge of Developing
Confidence in One Another * I Leave You a Thirst for Education * I Leave You
A Respect for the Use of Power
I Leave You also a Desire to Live Harmoniously with Your Fellow Man
I Leave You Faith * I Leave You Racial Dignity
I Leave You Finally a Responsibility to Our Young People
Mary McLeod Bethune

Capitol Hill Parks , National Capital Parks-East

Last updated: May 19, 2023