MLK Memorial: Help build the dream

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 11, 2007

To the Editor:

While attending a fraternity meeting in suburban Maryland in 1984, several members of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity came up with the idea of writing a proposal to erect a monument in the nation’s capitol to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Due to their efforts to gain support from the general organization of the fraternity and by influencing powerful members of Congress, their dream of building a lasting monument to honor Dr. King became a reality. While in office, President Bill Clinton signed legislation in 1996 approving construction of the monument.

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Since that time, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. has moved forward with zeal and vigor and has established the Washington, D.C. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, Inc. The foundation is responsible for raising $100 million to complete the construction of the MLK Memorial.

On Nov. 13, 2006, the federal government allowed the King Foundation to break ground on the Washington Mall. As of today, the foundation has raised $68 million dollars.

The King memorial, slated to open in the spring of 2008, will be the first monument for a civilian, an African American, and a non-president to be erected on the Washington Mall. If anyone deserves to be honored in such a magnanimous manner, it is surely Dr. King.

The King dream was not just about civil rights for African-Americans, it was about ensuring that the American promise of equal justice and opportunity for all is more than one of words. As a person that has made several contributions to the memorial foundation, I ask that you join with me in helping to “Build the Dream.” Alabamians should be leading the way in this effort.

Much of King’s legacy is rooted in this great State. From the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott, to the 1963 Letter from a Birmingham Jail, to the 1965 Selma to Montgomery March, King’s greatest work may have taken place within our borders.

To learn more about the King Memorial Project and how you can make a tax deductible contribution, please visit, or call 1-888-484-3373.

Tony Sanders

Past Alabama District Director

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.