"This is the first civil rights mural in Frederick, which is kind of remarkable in itself, so to be involved in this project is an untold high honor. Something I will always remember," said Owens.
The mosaic, a 10-foot-tall portrait of Nickens, will also feature seven birds representing freedom, the very goal Nickens fought for. Today, volunteers of all shades and ages worked diligently on the project.
"I think its a really good thing, its nice to see that he gets the recognition," said Andrew Daddone, a volunteer who has worked with United Way Summer Serve for four summers.
The idea to honor Nickens was conceived by the Housing Authority of Frederick and since then, United Way Summer Serve volunteers have contributed a helping hand.
"These middle school and high school kids are spending their whole summer volunteering at dozens of different programs and it's all about coming together, living united to make Frederick a better place to live," said Josh Pedersen, CEO of United Way Frederick County.
Before Nickens passed away at the age of 99 in 2013, he made his mark on Frederick as a leader in the integration of Frederick High School and as the city's president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Nickens' legacy is undeniable and now with the help of the community, it will be honored.
The final portrait will be unveiled on September 28th during Hood College's "March On Frederick" event.
For more information on the project or to find out how you can donate to the cause, go to the Lord Nickens Mural Facebook page.
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