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Special Project

Special Project
From the 8th Annual Shorty Impact Awards

Shorty Awards Celebrate the Harriet Tubman Monument Brought to Life Via Immersive Audible Experience

Gold Honor in Interactive Content

Audience Honor in Interactive Content


In the months following the murder of George Floyd in 2020, statues and icons of historical colonizers and slaveholders in the United States were removed in numerous cities as a symbol of change. Among them was Newark's Christopher Columbus statue in the park formerly known as Washington Park. 

Through its Global Center for Urban Development (GCUD), launched in 2020 to spearhead efforts to advance racial justice, equity and economic empowerment, Audible began collaborating with the City of Newark in 2021 to reimagine the park as the heartbeat of Newark’s downtown community. The park was renamed Harriet Tubman Square and a monument was erected in her honor to celebrate her courageous work and commemorate Newark’s role in the history of Black liberation. Combining its impact focus with its role as the leading creator and provider of premium audio storytelling, Audible created an immersive on-site audio experience at the monument (also available for free globally on the app) featuring seminal stories of Tubman’s life intertwined with the history of the Underground Railroad and free Black communities in New Jersey. 

Audible dedicated resources and expertise to amplify Ms. Tubman’s impact and historical significance to New Jersey, while elevating underrepresented voices and upholding critical narratives around Black liberation and empowerment, all through the power of storytelling. The audio-enhanced monument draws foot traffic to Tubman Square, strengthening the appeal of downtown Newark as a place to live, work, visit and thrive.

Strategy and Execution

The Harriet Tubman monument, called Shadow of a Face, lies in a long history of Audible’s investment in Newark. Since establishing its headquarters in Newark in 2007, Audible has directly added over 2,000 jobs to the city and generated nearly $1 billion in economic activity to date.

To expand its efforts aimed at advancing equity, racial justice and economic empowerment through direct community and economic investment, Audible launched the Global Center for Urban Development in 2020. The Center’s initiatives aim to create jobs, sustain businesses, attract foot traffic and drive greater economic activity in the cities Audible calls home. Audible’s investments in Newark - and in Tubman Square in particular - have achieved goals of increased foot traffic and walkability, while its investment in the monument’s audio experience has created an evergreen way to tell Newark’s collective history long into the future, demonstrating Audible’s commitment to amplifying underrepresented voices by sharing stories that deserve to be told. 

Audible dedicated significant time, financial resources, and subject-matter expertise to give voice to the monument, to elevate these important stories, and to amplify the monument’s significance to the community. In developing this immersive, audio-enabled experience, Audible met with key community stakeholders to ensure the project was inclusive, thoughtful, and collaborative, working closely with the City of Newark, local historians, educational and cultural institutions, the monument artist, and many cross-departmental teams at Audible.

This dynamic piece of audio storytelling, Monumental: Harriet Tubman and Newark’s Liberation Movement, was created by Newark native Pia Wilson, performed by Newark native Queen Latifah. Listeners are engaged in a memorable retelling of the adversity Tubman endured as a pioneer of the Underground Railroad. Monumental also offers a reflection of the individuals and organizations at the forefront of Newark’s abolitionist movement, highlighting the heroes throughout the city's history who risked life and liberty to help others reach freedom and achieve their human rights. In addition to the permanent, site-based installation, Audible has made Monumental accessible, free of charge, to listeners worldwide on its platform.


The Tubman monument project represents Audible’s long-standing commitment to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion across three pillars: the content it produces, the community in which it operates, and the employees it nurtures. Audible’s investments in the City of Newark, which include the monument and its immersive audio experience, help attract foot traffic, sustain businesses, and create jobs, having generated over $775 million in economic activity to date. 

Results specific to the Harriet Tubman monument include the generation of free educational resources and curriculum guides for teachers and students to learn about Harriet Tubman and the history of abolitionism, with free activities for classroom lessons and reflection. Additionally, Audible is sponsoring and facilitating recurring community events in Tubman Square throughout the summer and fall, including a farmer’s market, music events with food from local restaurants, and educational event series for children, such as “Tubman for Tots,” where  children participate in an interactive storytelling experience and art-making activities to learn about Tubman’s history. These events further help build a vibrant and thriving neighborhood that ultimately attracts foot traffic, sustains businesses, and creates jobs, all while maintaining strong ties to the history of the city.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Audible, Audible


Entry Credits