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MEDIA ADVISORY: Disability groups honor people who died at California state hospitals

15th Annual Remembrance Day Ceremonies – September 18, 2017

Disability Rights California

Sacramento,California (PR MediaRelease) September 15, 2017

Over 45,000 people with psychiatric or developmental disabilities died while living at a California state hospital or developmental center between the 1880’s and 1960’s. Many were buried anonymously in unmarked or mass graves and did not receive recognition or acknowledgment as human beings, in life or in death.

The California Memorial Project will host ceremonies around the State of California to restore dignity and honor to individuals with disabilities who died at state hospitals. Nine sites will participate in this year’s Remembrance Day Celebration. The project is a collaboration of the Peer Self-Advocacy Program of Disability Rights California and People First of California. Here are the locations and times.

12:15 -1:15 PM
Ukiah Cemetery
Russian River Cemetery District
940 Low Gap Road, Ukiah, CA 94582
Contact: Martha Cook (707) 443-2706

10:00 AM
Porterville Developmental Center Gazebo
26501 Avenue 140, Porterville, California 93258
Contact: Yanet Fernandez (559) 782-2286

10:30 – 11:30 AM
Stockton Rural Cemetery
2350 Cemetery Lane, Stockton, CA 95204
Contact: Jenny Olson (916) 504-5987

10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Park View Cemetery (Front circle)
3661 East French Camp Rd., Manteca, CA 95336
Contact: Jenny Olson (916) 504-5987

10:30 – 11:30 AM
Napa State Hospital (McGrath Auditorium)
2100 Napa Vallejo Hwy, Napa, CA 94558
Contact: Alicia Mendoza (916) 504-5986

1:00 – 2:00 PM
Agnews Historic Cemetery
1250 Hope Drive, Santa Clara, CA 95054
Contact: Robin Rhoades (916) 704-7716

1:00 – 2:00 PM
Sonoma Developmental Center Gazebo
15000 Arnold Drive, Eldridge, CA 95431
Contact: Alicia Mendoza (916) 504-5986

10:00 – 11:00 AM
Metropolitan State Hospital – James Hall Auditorium
11401 South Bloomfield Ave., Norwalk, CA 90650
Contact: Monica Gallegos (213) 213-8179

10:30 – 11:30 AM
Patton State Hospital Auditorium
3102 E. Highland Ave., Patton, CA 92369
Contact: Robyn Gantsweg (310) 628-5230

At 1:55 pm there will be a statewide moment of silence to honor those who died unrecognized at State Hospitals and Developmental Centers. By giving respect to people with developmental and mental disabilities who have died unrecognized we are honoring all of us.

People First of California ( envisions all people with disabilities will have the opportunity to gain empowerment through unity and respect for each other.

Disability Rights California is a non-profit organization founded in 1978 to protect the rights of people with disabilities. Check out our website (, Facebook and twitter @DisabilityCA.

Disability Rights California advocates, educates, investigates and litigates to advance and protect the rights of Californians with disabilities.

Alicia Mendoza
Disability Rights California
Office Manager
(916) 504-5800

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