Washington Gladden

Pathway of Justice

The central path that meanders through the park reveals a contemplative story.  Quotes of social justice leaders through the ages from both near and far are engraved in guide stones and set in the path – creating moments of quiet reflection.  The quotes contain words of wisdom and sometimes challenge – inspiring those who visit the park to join others to help build a better future for all.

At first appearance, the placement of the stones along the path appears to be random.  Yet the stones, through the use of a modified Morse code, disclose letters that form words associated with social justice.  To discover the chosen words, park decoder sheets are available for the young and the young at heart.  Morse code and the park’s namesake, Washington Gladden, were both born in the same decade of the 1830’s.

For access to a current listing of guide stones, please use the following link.  

Pathway Dedication

The park celebrated the installation of the initial 37 guide stones at the pathway’s dedication event on October 24, 2021.  Speakers included:  Archie Griffin, Trustee of Washington Gladden Social Justice Park Fund, Franklin County Commissioner Erica Crawley, Tracy Najera, Executive Director of the Children’s Defense Fund – Ohio,  Stephanie Hightower, President & CEO of the Columbus Urban League, Hussnain Malik, Noor Islamic Cultural Center,  Rev. Dr. Timothy Ahrens, Senior Minister, First Congregational Church, UCC, Cathy Levine, Co-President of B.R.E.A.D. and representative of Tifereth Israel,  and Sr. Gemma Doll, OP, Dominican Sisters of Peace. 

Photo by Randall Schieber
Photo by Randall Schieber

Guide Stone Tributes and Sponsors

Each guide stone is supported by one or more sponsors who often have taken the opportunity to honor someone special in making their donation.  This link provides an alphabetical listing of the name of the author of each quote, the designated tribute if any, and the name of the sponsoring individual, group, or organization.  

Sponsors nominate specific quotes or religious text to be engraved on a guide stone and included in the Pathway of Justice.  If you are interested in sponsoring a guide stone, please use the following link:  here.

Numerous individuals and groups have supported the development of one or more guide stones.  For access to a complete list of sponsors, please use the following link: here.