Remembering MLK - Memorial Project Raises $102 million
By Janine Fondon, UnityFirst.com
Martin Luther King's Memorial Project in Washington, D.C., continues to gather momentum with corporate support. Congress passed Joint Resolutions in 1996 authorizing Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. to establish the Memorial honoring Dr. King to be built in Washington, D.C., and to date, the fundraising for the project has reached $102 million, thanks to the contributions of many corporate foundations and companies.
"As we approach what would have been Dr. King's 80th birthday, we can be proud of the progress we've made as a nation to lift racial barriers and form a more perfect union," former President Clinton said. "Never before have we had the power we have today to make Dr. King's dream a reality, and together, we can build a more just and equal world for future generations."
The Memorial Foundation has raised a total of $102 million out of the needed $120 million. Major donors to date 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, among others. Recently, former President Bill Clinton and the South Florida community turned out in full force in Miami to support the Washington, D.C. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, Inc.
During the Miami event, former President Clinton received the Memorial Foundation's "Humanitarian Award" and served as the keynote speaker while the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, through its donation of $1 million to the Memorial, served as the lead dinner sponsor.
"I couldn't be prouder that South Florida has made its mark on this important tribute to Dr. King, especially together with President Clinton," said Alberto Ibargüen, president and CEO of Knight Foundation, who served as the Dinner Co-Chair with his wife Susana. "Dr. King had a transformational impact on the nation and the world. But his work is not finished. That's why Knight Foundation is a part of this effort to inspire future generations to continue to fight for a free and just society."
Numerous South Florida institutions sponsored the Miami Dream Dinner including: Clear Channel Outdoor, Miami Herald, Miami Today, The Miami Heat, Macy's, South Florida Times, HOT 105 FM, NOVA Southeastern University, 99 JAMZ, FPL, FTI Consulting, Miami-Dade Public Schools, Celebrity Cruises, Greenberg Traurig and Simply the Best Worldwide.