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January 31, 2008

W. K. Kellogg Foundation Announces $3 Million Donation

As the nation prepares to observe Black History Month, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) announced today a $3 million donation to the Washington, DC, Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, Inc.  The WKKF gift signifies the largest private foundation contribution for the four-acre Memorial which will be built on the National Mall.

Martin Luther King, III,  Harry E. Johnson, Sr., President and CEO of the Memorial Foundation, and Sterling Speirn, President of the WKKF, announced the donation in an audio call with reporters. 

“The Kellogg Foundation is making history today with its generous donation towards building a lasting Memorial to Dr. King and the ideals of hope, democracy, justice, and love for which he stood,” said Johnson. “Now is the time for all citizens, corporations, and foundations to make history by visiting www.buildthedream.org and make a contribution of any amount to the Memorial.”

“The W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s gift to the memorial is a tangible expression of WKKF’s belief that the memorial can have a profound impact on society over time, serving as a reminder of the need for racial equity,” said Speirn.

The WKKF’s gift reflects WKKF’s newly emphasized focus on working with the philanthropic community to change the futures of vulnerable children and vulnerable families.  WKKF seeks to dismantle structural racism, and heal and reconcile the racial attitudes, beliefs, and misunderstandings that constrain the lives and futures of the 30 million children growing up in families who cannot make ends meet.   With children of color being disproportionately represented in this group, this gift seeks to honor and strengthen Dr. King’s vision.

The donation from the WKKF lifts the fundraising total to $90 million of the $100 million needed.  Major donors include: General Motors, Tommy Hilfiger Corporate Foundation, NBA/WNBA, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., The Walt Disney Company Foundation, Coca-Cola Foundation, The Ford Motor Fund, Toyota, AARP, AFLAC, BP America, Inc., CIGNA, DuPont, ExxonMobil Foundation, Fannie Mae Corporation, FedEx Corporation, GE, Horowitz Family Foundation, Sheila C Johnson, Lehman Brothers, George Lucas, MacFarlane Partners, The Pew Charitable Trusts, The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation, McDonald’s Corporation, National Association of Realtors, National Education Association (NEA), PepsiCo Foundation, The Pew Charitable Trusts, Prudential Financial, Inc., Shell Oil Company, State Farm Insurance, Verizon, Verizon Foundation, Viacom, Wal-Mart and Morehouse College, among others.

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, DC.  The Ceremonial Groundbreaking took place on November 13, 2006 and the Memorial is scheduled to be completed in 2009.  McKissack & McKissack / Turner Construction Company/ Gilford Corporation / Tompkins Builders, Inc.

W.K. Kellogg Foundation

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation was established in 1930 by breakfast cereal pioneer W.K. Kellogg to “help people help themselves.” Specifically, the organization supports children, families and communities as they strengthen and create conditions that propel vulnerable children to achieve success as individuals and as contributors to the larger community and society. Grants are concentrated in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the southern African countries of Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe.  For more information, visit the Foundation’s Web site at www.wkkf.org.

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Your support brings us one step closer to building this Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Help us honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his vision for America. Help us “Build the Dream.”

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