THE MORE UP CAMPUS
For the first time since the civil rights movement there is a national reckoning around race in America. More Up seeks to participate in this reckoning by finding creative ways to honor the voiceless, the minimized, the ignored. Phase I is the erection of the “Mothers of Gynecology” monument, to honor the sacrifice of Anarcha, Lucy, and Betsey, the enslaved experimental subjects of the so-called “father of gynecology,” J. Marion Sims.
More Up is located in Montgomery, Alabama, and the “Mothers of Gynecology” monument will stand not far from where Sims’s dastardly experiments were conducted. Drawing on a comprehensive re-examination of Sims’s career, and never-before-seen archival documents that reveal the lives and fates of Anarcha, Lucy, and Betsey, the “Mothers of Gynecology” will act as a first step toward teaching and reimagining the true story of the nation, facing the injustice of the past and honoring the courage of overlooked heroes.
press conference & news
DECEMBER 8, 2020
WITH ‘MOTHERS OF GYNECOLOGY,’ A SCULPTOR'S TRIBUTE TO ENSLAVED WOMEN MAIMED FOR SCIENCE
MARCH 28, 2021
Michelle Browder has passed by the statue of Dr. J. Marion Sims that stands on a pedestal in front of the Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery countless times. And every time her reaction is the same: “Infuriated. I know we need a reckoning,” Browder told The Chronicle.
“The fact that Sims is glorified became very problematic for me,” she said during a recent afternoon lunch break at the Box Shop, a collaborative artists’ workspace in Hunters Point.
Browder, a multimedia artist and activist based in Montgomery, is in San Francisco through March to work with Bay Area sculptor Dana Albany on completing her massive art project, “Mothers of Gynecology.” It’s inspired by Browder’s indignation over the fact that Dr. Marion J. Sims’ reputation as the “father of modern gynecology” has eclipsed public acknowledgement of the enslaved women who made his medical discoveries possible.
REALITY CHECK: MONTGOMERY INFLUENCERS OFFER
PERSPECTIVE ON COVID-19 VACCINES
FEBRUARY 12, 2021
Informed decision-making was not an option for the enslaved women J. Marion Sims ruthlessly experimented on. But Michelle Browder, a social justice entrepreneur and local tour guide who also works with kids in underserved communities, is trying to subvert the narrative that elevated Sims to be “the father of gynecology.” Alongside artists and activists, Browder recently unveiled plans to honor three women subjected to Sims exploitation: Anarcha, Betsey, and Lucy will be memorialized as "the mothers of gynecology," with a 15-foot public monument in downtown Montgomery. The goal, Browder says, is to tell these women’s stories and “shine a light on ongoing racial disparities in the health care industry today.”
3 campus projects
MOTHERS OF GYNECOLOGY
MOTHER'S DAY -- MAY 9, 2021
ANARCHA, LUCY & BETSEY
Anarcha, Lucy, and Betsey
were enslaved women from plantations in and around Montgomery, Alabama. With neither consent nor anesthesia, they were experimented on by Dr. J. Marion Sims in the 1840s. After publishing the results of his "success," Sims moved to New York to seek fame and fortune. Within a decade, he became known as the Father of Gynecology. By contrast, Anarcha, Betsey, and Lucy fell into history. They changed the world, only to be forgotten by it. A 15-foot public monument will honor these women, tell their story, and shine a light on ongoing racial disparities in the healthcare industry today.
REMEMBERING ANARCHA DOCUMENTARY
BY MICHELLE BROWDER
THE MONUMENT ARTISTS
THE MORE UP SCHOOL &
ESTIMATED COMPLETION: DECEMBER, 2021
The Travel Center will accommodate (32-beds) and educate travelers and activists visiting the Montgomery area through an established curriculum of art, true historical exploration, and critical thinking -- inspiring participants to engage in social justice activism when returning to their own communities.
ESTIMATED COMPLETION: MARCH, 2022
The Creative Changemakers Museum is an innovative experience of art and history. Expression and innovation are key to fostering the minds of the next generation. The museum will explore the unknown history of how Anarcha, Lucy, and Betsey, and the City of Montgomery, played a crucial role in the history of medicine. That history is changing lives even today, in Africa. Art, music, and conversation changes narratives and heals wounds of indifference. Travelers to the museum, of all ages, will be inspired to become Creative Changemakers.
17 Mildred Street, Montgomery, AL 36104