What is current status on the Martin Luther King Project?
Chapter brother Ed Jackson, Jr. (Chairperson for the MLK project) continues to "Hold up the light"
as he works towards completion of this historic commendation. This is an ongoing report update on
the MLK project as news is made public.
A Washington, D.C. memorial to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is no longer only a dream. The National
Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) today approved a prominent tidal basin site on the Washington mall
for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, making the project a reality. The NCPC is the last of three
federal commissions that must approve a site before a design can be considered. The approval of the
tidal basin site means that the memorial to this great international figure will become a reality,
said John Carter, project chairman and vice president of the Washington, D.C. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Memorial Foundation. This site puts Dr.King in a place of tranquility, vision, historic significance,
and in a visual line of leaders, between Lincoln and Jefferson. Now that we have our site, we can
launch a design competition and continue our fundraising efforts, said Carter.
The memorial will be the first sited on the mall to commemorate an individual who was not an American
president. The approved site creates a visual ‘line of leadership’ from the Lincoln Memorial,
where King gave his famous "I have a dream" speech, to the Jefferson Memorial. The center of the site
is at the southwest corner of the intersection of Independence Avenue and West Basin Drive, S.W.
Carter said today’s approval was the result of constructive discussions and cooperation with the
Commission, as well as tremendous public support. Commission Chairman Harvey Gantt announced the vote
on Thursday afternoon. I am absolutely delighted and pleased that the
commission working with the sponsoring groups, the MLK Foundation and
the National Parks Service, were able to come to a positive and meaningful solution, said Gantt.
Now it is our hope that the process can move forward toward a design competition that will result in
the development of a memorial that will be a lasting tribute to a great American. "Only in America
can the son of former slaves end up on the mall in a prominent position, "said Carter. The prestigious
placement of this memorial demonstrates the progress achieved by the very movement that Dr. King led.
Carter said design proposal packages will be distributed worldwide and available through the internet
early next year. The Washington, D.C. Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Foundation is a project
of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., of which Dr. King was a member. In 1998, the fraternity was
authorized by the United States Congress to establish a foundation to manage the fundraising and design
of a memorial to Dr. King. The group has until November 12, 2003 to complete a design, raise the money
for the memorial and break ground.
Brothers and Chapters are still able to make contributions by printing the order
form and sending in your donations. A commemorative brick will be given to
each College Brother who contributes $52 or more and each Alumni Brother
making a contribution of $152 or more. Click here for more information on the
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