Champions For Humanity.

Champions For Humanity: Mount Rushmore of California

Field review by the editors.

Oakland, California

Unveiled in stages from 2010 to 2013, Champions For Humanity is the largest bronze monument west of the Mississippi. It weighs 30 tons and features the heads of 25 people -- some giant, some life-size -- intertwined on seven spiraling axes. These are supposed to evoke the DNA helix (common to us all), but, frankly, the pile-up of heads looks a lot like the half-human horror nursery of the Alien.

Champions For Humanity.

Sculptor Mario Chiodo was previously known for his statues in Las Vegas and the Oakland Zoo. But 9/11 inspired him to build a massive artwork -- 21 feet tall and almost 60 feet wide -- praising people of peace. Chiodo carefully selected the 25 Champions to include as many religions and nationalities as possible. That means there's no place on this Mount Rushmore for slaveowners Washington and Jefferson, or imperialist Teddy Roosevelt (FDR and Lincoln get seats though). It does have room for Harvey Milk and Malcolm X. Less familiar faces include Thich Nhat Hanh, Rigoberta Munchu Tum, Shirin Ebadi, and the anonymous tank guy from Tiananmen Square. The entire monument cost a reported $9 million.

Champions For Humanity.

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Champions For Humanity: Mount Rushmore of California

Rashida Muhammad St., Oakland, CA
Downtown, on the northeast corner of 19th and Rashida Muhammad Sts. Three blocks west of I-980. Exit at 27th St.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
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Nearby Offbeat Places

Children's FairylandChildren's Fairyland, Oakland, CA - < 1 mi.
Stuffed Polar BearStuffed Polar Bear, Oakland, CA - 1 mi.
Monster MuralMonster Mural, Oakland, CA - 1 mi.
In the region:
Firestorm House and Disasters To Come, Oakland, CA - 4 mi.

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