Washington, D.C. (August 26, 2011) - The Washington, DC Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation's leadership today announced a $1 million gift from the National Football League and NFL Charities. The gift will support the memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. honoring Dr. King, which will be officially dedicated this fall.
"We are extremely humbled by the million dollar gift from the NFL, including Houston Texans owner Bob McNair," said Harry E. Johnson, Sr., president and CEO of the Memorial Foundation. "This NFL gift moves us one step closer to our $120 million fundraising goal. The NFL has been a close ally of our Project in Washington, DC as well as a strong supporter for more than two decades of the national holiday in Dr. King's honor on the third Monday each January. We are proud the NFL and the Houston Texans have joined with us to create the first memorial on the National Mall celebrating a man of hope, a man of peace, and a man of color."
The National Football League is the largest major professional sports league in this country with 32 teams in 23 states. The NFL kicks off its 92nd season on Thursday, September 8 when the defending Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers play host to the New Orleans Saints.
"We are pleased to join our fellow Americans in saluting Dr. King, his legacy and his vision of America," says NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. "The Memorial is a fitting tribute to an extraordinary man who dedicated his life to ensure freedom, equality and opportunity for all. We in the NFL believe that professional football is the ultimate meritocracy. NFL players are measured strictly by their performance on the field regardless of race, religion or economic background. Our league offers more than 2,500 job opportunities on the field each season to young men as players, coaches and game officials. We also employ thousands more men and women in our NFL offices and at the 32 clubs. In the spirit of Dr. King, we work vigorously to maintain an inclusive environment where everyone can reach their fullest potential. We are proud to have our name associated with Dr. King."
This gift pushes the Foundation closer to raising the $120 million needed to build the memorial. The National Football League joins the following major donors to the memorial: General Motors, The Walt Disney Company Foundation, The Ford Motor Fund, Verizon Foundation, DirecTV, FedEx Corporation, PepsiCo Foundation, and CBS Corporation, 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 dedicated this fall, celebrating the 48th anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech. The Memorial is 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 a Joint Resolution in 1996 authorizing Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. to establish a Memorial in Washington, D.C. honoring Dr. King. McKissack & McKissack / Turner Construction Company / Tompkins Builders, Inc. / Gilford Corporation Joint Venture serves as the Design-Build Team. For more information or to make a donation, visit **www.buildthedream.org**.