GM Diversity: Press Release

GM Foundation Adds $100,000 to MLK Jr. Memorial

Total GM giving to slain civil rights leader tribute exceeds $10 million  

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The General Motors Foundation, which led the donation of more than $10 million to the national memorial honoring slain civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., will announce Saturday an additional $100,000 grant to the foundation that led the project.  

GM North America President Mark Reuss will announce the grant to the Washington, D.C. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial  Project Foundation, Inc. during the MLK Legacy Reception.
On Sunday, the monument to King, more than 20 years in the making, will be ceremonially unveiled in a dedication chaired by the GM Foundation and Chevrolet, and co-chaired by The Tommy Hilfiger Corporate Foundation. The event, rescheduled because of bad weather in August, honors the 48th anniversary of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech delivered from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
The celebration concludes a weekend of pre-dedication activities including the Dream Gala, where Reuss will accept an award on behalf of Chevrolet and the GM Foundation. The foundation and GM have combined to contribute more than $10 million since fundraising for the memorial began in 2006.

“We’re deeply grateful to the General Motors Foundation and Chevrolet for being with us from the start and supporting the Foundation to build a lasting memorial to Dr. King, his principles, and his ideals in our nation’s capital,” said Harry Johnson, president and CEO,  Washington, DC Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, Inc. “The additional support and their encouragement of others to join them is very important to our efforts.”

GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson will be among the dignitaries, including President Obama and members of the King family making remarks at the dedication.

Additionally, Chevrolet sponsored the “Table of Brotherhood Project,” a five-city tour that culminates with the monument unveiling. Stops featured a table designed by Scott Tucker of Raunjiba furniture, where people of all backgrounds and opinions were invited to participate in culturally and socially relevant conversations around King’s vision while helping to raise awareness of the memorial.
“Chevrolet and the GM Foundation recognize that great strength comes with diversity of talent and feel a deep obligation to cultivating cultures of diversity and inclusion as envisioned by Martin Luther King Jr.,” said Akerson. “The memorial of Dr. King is taking its rightful place in the pantheon of American heroes.”

The memorial is the first on the National Mall to celebrate a man of peace, of color and of hope, and conveys four recurring themes of King’s life – democracy, justice, hope and love. Located on the Tidal Basin and close to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, it creates a visual line of leadership between the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials.  A 450-foot inscription wall features more than a dozen granite-engraved quotations from Dr. King. The Memorial also includes the “Mountain of Despair: and the “Stone of Hope,” which features a 30-foot sculpture of Dr. King.

The MLK Memorial Foundation has raised $116 million of the $120 million needed to complete the memorial and support programs. Individual donations can be made online.

About the GM Foundation
Since its inception in 1976, the GM Foundation has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to deserving American charities, educational organizations and to disaster relief efforts worldwide. The GM Foundation focuses on supporting Education, Health and Human Services, Environment and Energy and Community Development initiatives, mainly in the communities where GM operates.  Funding of the GM Foundation comes solely from GM. The last contribution to the GM Foundation was made in 2001. For more information, visit

About the Washington, D.C. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, Inc.
A Memorial honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will be ceremonially dedicated on Oct. 16, 2011.   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

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Carolyn Markey                            
General Motors Foundation