President Bill Clinton to Headline Miami Dream Dinner for Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial

Knight Foundation Leads City-Wide Campaign

Washington, D.C.— Leaders of the Washington, DC Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, Inc., announced today that former President Bill Clinton will receive the Foundation’s “Humanitarian Award” and serve as the keynote speaker at a January 8, 2009 Miami Dream Dinner to raise funds for Memorial to be built on the National Mall.  The dinner will take place at Fontainebleau Hotel and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which donated $1 million to the Memorial Foundation, will serve as the lead dinner sponsor.

“Partnering with the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Foundation is a priority for Knight Foundation because this memorial will be a lasting reminder of Dr. King’s transformational impact on the United States and on the world,” said Alberto Ibargüen, President and CEO of the Knight Foundation and lead Miami Dream Dinner Chair.  I want to encourage every member of the Miami community, civic leaders, corporations and students to learn more about the Dream Dinner, the Memorial and how you can do your part to raise awareness and funds to help build this monument to Dr. King by visiting

The press conference took place at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.  Additional Dream Dinner chairs, celebrities, athletes and politicians will be announced in the coming weeks.                 

“We are thrilled that President Clinton has accepted our invitation to receive the ‘Humanitarian Award’ for his unparalleled work related to economic empowerment, racial, ethnic and religious reconciliation, health security and leadership development and citizen service,” said Harry E. Johnson, President and CEO of the Memorial Foundation.  “We are equally appreciative that the Knight Foundation is playing a leadership role in building the Memorial and involving the Miami community.”

President Clinton 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. 

The Memorial Foundation has hosted Dream Dinners in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Houston, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York City and San Francisco.

The Memorial Foundation has raised $100 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

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 communities in the United States where the Knight brothers once owned newspapers. Knight Foundation invests in ideas and projects that can lead to transformational change.