Politics

Harry Johnson Invites All to King Memorial Dedication Events in Washington, D.C.

Tue., Jul. 5, 2011 10:19 AM EST
by Yvette Caslin

Harry Johnson

Five members of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. had a dream to erect a memorial, among presidents on the National Mall, to, posthumously, honor their fraternity brother Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. That dream is being realized on August 28 under the leadership of Harry E. Johnson, Sr. The president and CEO of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, Inc. has made steadfast advancements and here he discusses the pending activities scheduled leading up to the opening. –yvette caslin

How does it feel to be a little over a month away from the dedication ceremony activities?
It feels great. I feel all involved including me and my executive staff and team and many of our donors are just pleased to see this day come. A day when the Mall will be diversified much like America. The first man of peace, first man of color, [and] the first none president to grace the mall.

What purpose or impact do you think the King Memorial will have on Americans?
This dedication will mean to the people that from this point on, when there is civil unrest [and] disagreements, people are going to visit the King Memorial; they will know that they can work out their differences much like Dr. King did, nonviolently, and in a civilized [manner]. Look at what Dr. King has stood for. Let’s come together and continue the great deeds this man performed and let’s talk about what great deeds this country has performed and our people, collectively, have done.

Is there any thing that you would like to say in advance to your donors and sponsors?
Thank you from the people of the United States and from the world. Dr. King was not just an African American hero, or an American hero. He was an international hero. He, in fact, changed the world. Every corporate donor, foundation donor and every individuals donor, who gave anything from 25 cents and up, ought to be pleased that they helped build this memorial.

Does Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.’s involvement serve as an example that black Greek organizations are relevant?
Without question. This started as a result of five Alpha men who knew there was a need for more visitation to the mall by people of color and how to get them there. If a young kid sees a person of color then he has an interest in history. When Alpha Phi Alpha adopted this idea from those five men in the chapter in Silver Springs, Md., it is a significant testament. Members of Greek letter organizations ought to be proud, not only the Alphas but the Kappas, Omega, Sigmas, AKAs, Deltas, Zeta and Sigma Gamma Rhos, they all contributed to this memorial.

Visit our www.buildthedream.org to make a donation and to learn more about the dedication ceremony and the preceding four days of activities.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Dedication Week Events Calendar

Honoring Global Leaders for Peace
International Salute Gala
Wednesday, August 24, 7 to 10 p.m.
National Building Museum

Honoring Past, Present, Future Pioneers
Civil Rights Pioneers Luncheon
Thursday, August 25, 12 to 2 p.m.
Washington Convention Center

Partners in the Dream

Public Expo
Thursday, August 25, 2 to 8 p.m.; Friday, August 26, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, August 27, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, August 28, 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Washington Convention Center

The Message in the Music
Concert of Civil Rights Era Music
Thursday, August 25, 8 to 10 p.m.
Washington Convention Center

Women Who Dare to Dream
Luncheon Honoring Women Civil Rights Leaders
Friday, August 26, 12 to 2 p.m.
Washington Convention Center

Dream Keepers
Encouraging Future Leaders Youth Symposium
Saturday, August 27, 12 to 3 p.m.
Washington Convention Center

The Celebration

Dream Gala
Saturday, August 27, 7 to 10 p.m.
Washington Convention Center

Dedication
Sunday, August 28
Pre-Dedication Concert: 10 a.m.
Dedication Ceremony: 11 a.m.
Post-Dedication Concert: 2 p.m.
West Potomac Park

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  • Arthur Hunt

    It is a great day!  Adding our voice of agreement from Memphis mandates us with joy to do a few things:

    1. See the God of King and know that the “prophecy to promise” moment is now fulfilled and true love and brotherhood in our nation lives high and above any and all past misconceptions and lies.

    2. Rally people to honor this day and support the Dedication with resources and attendence.

    2. Those in the Memphis and Mid-South Region, join us in Memphis as we celebrate this day in our Salute, August    28, 2011:  “Great Day of the Dreamers,” August 27-28, from Mud Isand River Park and Amphitheatre.