Civil Rights Pioneers Join Corporations in Support of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial
Civil rights pioneers from across the country, including Reverend Samuel Billy Kyles, Reverend William Lawson, Rose Sanders, Dr. Clayborne Carson, Clarence Jones, Xernona Clayton, Reverend Otis Moss, Jr., Dolores Huerta, Reverend Amos Brown and Reverend Al Sampson, took a moment to voice their support for the Washington, D.C. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project.
Harry E. Johnson, Sr., president and CEO of the Washington, D.C. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Project Foundation, Inc., also invited these civil rights pioneers to serve as ambassadors for the Memorial Foundation.
“We were excited and enthused to have the Civil Rights Pioneers visit the site and learn of its many elements,” stated Harry E. Johnson. “We are equally excited that several members of our Board of Directors participated and made this a special day for us, including Rod Gillum, chairman of the Memorial Foundation’s Board and the president of the General Motors Foundation, and Guy Vickers, a Memorial Foundation Board member and president of the Tommy Hilfiger Corporate Foundation.”
Clarence Jones, Dr. King’s former lawyer, advisor and speechwriter and a scholar in residence and visiting professor at Stanford University, said, “Other than the Emancipation Proclamation and President Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr. may have done more to achieve political, social and racial justice in America than any other person or event in the previous 448 years. This Memorial is celebrating the greatest leader that this country has ever had.”
Xernona Clayton, Dr. King’s special assistant who is based in Atlanta, said, “When Dr. King received his Nobel Prize money, he gave it all away. He would go out of his way to do things for other people. He wanted the world to be free … And, everyone always wanted to connect with Dr. King. By building this Memorial, you are giving everyone an opportunity to connect with him.”
Additional major donors include: General Motors, Tommy Hilfiger Corporate Foundation, NBA/WNBA, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., W.K. Kellogg Foundation, The Walt Disney Company Foundation, The Coca-Cola Foundation, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Ford Motor Fund, Toyota, AARP, AFLAC, BP America, Inc., CIGNA, Credit Unions of the United States, DuPont, ExxonMobil Foundation, Fannie Mae Corporation, FedEx Corporation, GE, Ann and Joel Horowitz Family Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Sheila C. Johnson-Newman, Lehman Brothers, George Lucas, MacFarlane Partners, The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation, McDonald’s Corporation, MetLife Foundation, National Association of Realtors (NAR), National Education Association (NEA), Nationwide Foundation, PepsiCo Foundation, The Pew Charitable Trusts, Pfizer Foundation, Prudential Financial, Inc., Shell Oil Company, State Farm Insurance, Verizon Foundation, Viacom, Wal-Mart and Morehouse College.
Photo Credit: Gediyon Kifle