The Monument was dedicated on June 13th, 1995, in memory of the late Guyanese Historian and activist Dr. Walter Anthony Rodney, for “his indelible contribution to the struggle for National Unity.” Rodney was assassinated in a car bombing in 1980 at the age of 38. It was conceived and created by the sculptor, Desmond Alli, and was privately financed. Although it stands on the grounds of the National Art Gallery / Castellani House, it has never been formally recognized by the government.
Alli said that the National Unity Monument was built “to heal the open wounds of the nation” and was dedicated to Guyanese of all races, especially in memory of Rodney who he noted, during his short lifetime had made an indelible contribution to improving race relations in Guyana and serves as an inspiration to all who struggle for racial harmony, and for peace and justice.
The largest ethnic group in Guyana is the Indo-Guyanese (also known as East Indians), the descendants of indentured laborers from India, who make up more than 40% of the population. They are followed by the Afro-Guyanese, the descendants of slaves from Africa, who constitute about 30%. The Guyanese of mixed heritage make up 17%, while the indigenous peoples (known locally as Amerindians) make up 9%.