RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The birthday of Maggie L. Walker, a civil rights advocate and the first woman to charter a bank, is being celebrated next weekend in the community she lived in over a century ago.

On July 15 and 16, the Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site, the Black History Museum and the City of Richmond are hosting a free and open event celebrating Walker’s 158th birthday and the fifth anniversary of her statue being unveiled in the Walker Memorial Plaza. Walker lived in the Jackson Ward community, which his now home to the Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site.

“Mrs. Maggie L. Walker is one of Richmond’s and Virginia’s most notable trailblazers. As an African American as well as a woman who led the way for others in the fight for social justice, financial success, and ultimately, freedom for Black people, we are honored to participate in the celebration of what would be her 158th birthday,” Dr. Monroe E. Harris, Jr., Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Black History Museum, said. “Maggie Walker is one of the many historically significant people to be highlighted in the museum’s special exhibition opening this fall celebrating our 40 years of educating all people about the rich history and culture of Virginia’s African Americans.” 

The event will include a presentation spotlighting the statue located in downtown Richmond at the Black History Museum, hosted by the museum and NPS on Friday, July 15. The reception will start at 5 p.m. with the presentation beginning at 6 p.m. A speaker panel, which will include some of Walker’s relatives, will talk about the statue’s creation process and the significance of community engagement in the process.

On Saturday, July 16, NPS and Richmond city will be holding a volunteer event to highlight Walker’s commitment to the Jackson Ward community. From 9 to 11 a.m., people can participate in garden beautification and sidewalk clean-up.

Both events will begin at the Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site at 600 N 2nd Street. Anyone who wants to volunteer at one of the events can sign up at handsonrva.org.