The Permanent Memorial to Honour the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade at the United Nations, entitled ‘The Ark of Return,’ is designed by Rodney Leon, an American architect of Haitian descent. It pays tribute to the courage of slaves, abolitionists and unsung heroes while promoting greater recognition of the contributions made by slaves and their descendants to societies worldwide.
“It is absolutely vital that the dangers inherent in racism are made crystal clear to all,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “The Ark of Return will bring home to people around the world the terrible legacy of the slave trade. It will help us to heal as we remember the past and honour the victims.”
The memorial aims to remind visitors of the complete history of slavery, urging them to acknowledge the tragedy and its legacy, and to heighten awareness of the current dangers of racism, prejudice and slavery’s lingering consequences that continue to impact the descendants of slavery’s victims today.