WASHINGTON, D.C. – Former President Bill Clinton and the South Florida community turned out in full force at the newly renovated Fountainebleau Miami last night to support the Washington, DC Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, Inc. 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.
Former President Bill Clinton
“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,” 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.”
President Clinton received the Memorial Foundation’s Humanitarian Award for his unparalleled work related to economic empowerment, racial, ethnic and religious reconciliation, health security and leadership development and citizen service. He also played a key role in the Memorial’s inception and has remained an active supporter. On July 16, 1998, Clinton signed a Joint Congressional Resolution authorizing the building of a memorial and on November 13, 2006 he participated in the Ceremonial Groundbreaking. He has served on the Memorial Foundation’s President’s Council for several years.
“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.”
Several current and former elected officials attended the dinner including: U.S. Congressman Kendrick Meek, Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, Former U.S. Congresswoman Carrie Meek, and Parkland City Commissioner Jared Moskowitz. NBA All-Star player Alonzo Mourning and CBS4 News Anchor Jawan Strader participated in the event. Irma and Norman Braman, Ambassador Paul and Trudy Cejas, and R. Donahue and Katrina Peebles served as Honorary Chairs.
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.
“I am humbled that President Clinton, Knight Foundation and the South Florida community joined together to help build this lasting Memorial to Dr. King,” said Harry E. Johnson, Sr., President and CEO of Washington, DC Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, Inc. “Thanks to their support, there will soon be a King among Presidents on the National Mall.”
Johnson was joined at the dinner by Dr. Ed Jackson, Jr., Executive Architect of the Memorial and Richard Marshall, Chief Financial Officer of the Memorial.
The Memorial Foundation has hosted a series of Dream Dinners nationwide in: Atlanta, Los Angeles, Houston, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and San Francisco. A Dream Concert was also held at Radio City Musical Hall in New York.
The fundraising total surrounding the Miami Dream Dinner is $1.5 million. 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.
About the Washington, DC Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, Inc.
A Memorial honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will be built on the National Mall, situated adjacent to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial and in a direct line between the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials. Congress passed Joint Resolutions in 1996 authorizing Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. to establish a Memorial honoring Dr. King to be built in Washington, D.C. The ceremonial groundbreaking took place on November 13, 2006 and the Memorial will be completed in 2010. McKissack & McKissack / Turner Construction Company/ Gilford Corporation / Tompkins Builders, Inc. Joint Venture will serve as the Design-Build Team. McKissack & McKissack is the oldest minority-owned architectural firm in the United States. For more information or to make a donation, please visit www.buildthedream.org.
About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation promotes journalism excellence worldwide and invests in the vitality of the U.S. communities where the Knight brothers once owned newspapers. Knight Foundation invests in ideas and projects that can lead to transformational change. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.