The Origin of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Monument On the Mall
The ΙΥΛ legacy includes the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the National Mall. The idea for the monument started in the early 1980s when Brother George Sealey and his wife, sitting at their kitchen table, said there should be a tribute to King in Washington. They got the idea after watching President Reagan sign into law the King holiday bill in the fall of 1983.
In 1986, Brothers Alfred Bailey, Oscar Little, Eddie Madison, Harold Navy, John Harvey and George Sealey took on a massive effort to have a memorial erected in honor of Brother Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Many countless hours went into researching this project and preparing documentation for the United States Congress and Senate to grant approval of a bill to erect the memorial. After years of producing fiscal and fundraising plans, drawings and blueprints and galvanizing public support, Alpha Phi Alpha persuaded Congress and key elements of the executive branch, including the Department of the Interior and the White House, to green light the project. It also would take raising $120 million
Former Congresswoman Connie Morella, Congressman H. Dixon, Senator Paul Sarbanes and Senator John Warner were the political affiliates who backed the bill. In 1999, the bill was passed to have the King Memorial built on the Tidal Basin adjacent to the Lincoln, Jefferson and Roosevelt Memorials. The dedication ceremony was held on December 4, 2000 and laying of a plaque where the memorial would stand.
Alpha Phi Alpha boasts the largest contingent of individuals to donate, at approximately $3 million. There are thousands of other private citizens who gave, including children who raised dollars at elementary school events. The U.S. government allocated $10 million in matching funds, and the remainder came from about 100 corporate sponsors
On August 26th nearly 5,000 people gathered for Alpha Phi Alpha private dedication.
IYΛ Annual Wreath Laying
We commemorate the memory of our dear fraternal brother, the late Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., with our Annual Wreath Laying ceremony at the MLK Memorial. The program has been led by Bro. Langston Smith. This years ceremony began with invocation from IUL's Chaplain Bro. Adrian Nelson II, presidential remarks from ΙΥΛ's President Bro. Darryl Hill, historical perspective of the MLK Monument by Bro. Kenneth Clark, neophyte perspective from Bro. Sean Roebuck, voice from the monument and more historical perspectives from 23rd Eastern Region Vice President Bro. Leroy Lowrey, comments for the good of the order from IUL's Executive Vice President Bro. Kevin Johnson, and Alpha Hymn and Prayer led by Bro. Kenneth Clark. The wreath was then laid at the foot of the memorial by Bros. Lowrey, Hill, Luther Elliott, and Roebuck. Click here to watch the ceremony.