East Brunswick’s Lost Souls Memorial Project monument will be built at community center

EAST BRUNSWICK–The Lost Souls Memorial Project Inc. released a Request for Proposal (RFP) to launch the design phase of its history-restoring monument.

Founded in 2017, the Lost Souls Public Memorial Project is a grassroots, community-based effort to remember 177-plus African Americans whose freedom was stolen by a corrupt Middlesex County judge, Jacob Van Wickle, in 1818. The project would build a memorial at the East Brunswick Community Arts Center, according to the Rev. Karen Johnston of the Unitarian Society of East Brunswick.

The juried design chosen will record and welcome back in perpetuity the Lost Souls stolen from the East Brunswick community 203 years ago, according to a prepared statement from the organization.

The Lost Souls memorial will be located at the Community Cultural Arts Center in the township from which infants, youth, women and men were forcibly removed by a sitting judge and consigned to permanent enslavement in the deep South, according to the statement.

The Lost Souls RFP was promulgated as Black History Month concluded two centuries after their loss from inclusive history, but not moral memory.

The organization is looking for skilled teams of sculptors, landscape artists and designers to submit design proposals as part of this effort led by the grassroots, multi-racial Lost Souls Public Memorial Project, Inc., a New Jersey nonprofit organization in the process of applying for non-profit status, according to the statement.

Important dates for the RFP include:

  • On April 15 there will be a submission of Letter of Intent;
  • On April 24, there will be a Zoom meeting with a question-and-answers portion;
  • June 1 is the deadline for all submissions.

To access the RFP and for more information about the history of the Lost Souls and the Lost Souls Memorial Project, visit lostsoulsmemorialnj.org.

Contact Vashti Harris at vharris@newspapermediagroup.com.