Mayor Gray Announces MLK Memorial Events

WI Web Staff Report | 8/10/2011, 5:19 p.m.
WASHINGTON, DC -- With the words "I have a dream" echoing across the plaza of...

WASHINGTON, DC -- With the words "I have a dream" echoing across the plaza of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial site, Mayor Vincent C. Gray recently announced that the District is ready to welcome hundreds of thousands of visitors expected to attend the Memorial's dedication."The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led a revolution that transformed the world," Gray said during an Aug. 10 press conference. "We in the District of Columbia are taking that revolution to the next level in our quest for self-determination. Throughout the weeks leading up to the dedication, the District of Columbia will host several events to engage residents in this historic occasion."

The list of events include:

  • A special preview of the memorial for District residents (Tues., Aug. 23 )
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue Street Dedication (Thurs., Aug. 25)
  • "Welcome to D.C." Reception (for out-of-town elected officials and civil rights leaders) hosted by Mayor Gray (Fri., Aug. 26)
  • D.C. Full Democracy Freedom Rally and March (Sat., Aug. 27)
  • Film showings, exhibits and a speaker series at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library (throughout August and September)

Dr. Harry E. Johnson Sr., president and CEO of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Foundation, joined Gray offering that, "We are so thrilled that this Memorial to Dr. King will grace the National Mall in this great city, the District of Columbia. We are so grateful to Mayor Gray for his leadership and for the support of his administration and the District's residents."

Others who joined Gray for the announcement of events included Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, who was a co-sponsor of the legislation creating the national Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday; and the Rev. Willie Wilson, director of the National Action Network March on Washington and pastor of Union Temple Baptist Church in D.C. Both Congresswoman Norton and Rev. Wilson are members of the D.C. Host Committee.

"As a young member of the March on Washington staff I worked for its success, but did not dare hope that Martin Luther King, Jr. would make the march a defining event of the 20th century it is now recognized to be," said Norton. "Today, 48 years later, I thank Mayor Vincent Gray for leading the city in using the historic dedication of the King Memorial to remind America of Dr. King's unfinished business for equality for the American citizens who live here in the city where the Memorial stands."

Wilson added that in celebration of the memorial, Washingtonians are mindful that the revolution for self-determination continues. "We will use the tools given us by Dr. King to ensure we win our struggle for justice and full voting rights in Congress," he said.

For more information about the District's MLK memorial events visit www.mlkmemorial.dc.gov.