Boston Foundation announces $500,000 gift for King Boston, rallies support for memorial plans

Funds will support memorial on Common, education and economic justice center in Roxbury

January 21, 2019

Boston - The Boston Foundation today announced it is making a $500,000 grant to King Boston for the completion of an ecosystem of memorial tributes to Martin Luther King and Coretta Scott King across the city of Boston. 

Announcing the gift, Boston Foundation President and CEO Paul Grogan and TBF Director Rev. Gregory Groover praised King Boston and Mayor Martin J. Walsh for spearheading a community driven effort to design and create an appropriate set of memorials for Martin Luther and Coretta Scott King. They called on the Greater Boston’s philanthropic community to support the King Boston effort. 

“In the face of seemingly intractable problems, we need to model the Kings’ determination and underscore the power of words and works, then and now, to create change,” Grogan and Groover wrote in an opinion piece for the Boston Globe. “Creating an opportunity to recognize, celebrate and carry on their visions are a worthy and fitting tribute to them, and one we hope all will support as a lasting and sustainable legacy to the Kings and their work.”

King Boston is currently working with local officials on the siting and selection of an ecosystem of memorial tributes to the Kings, as it raises an estimated $12 million to construct a memorial on the Boston Common dedicated to the Kings, as well to create a new King Center for Economic Justice in Roxbury and an endowed speaker serieswith local partners like Twelfth Baptist Church, local universities, and Boston Public Schools on issues related to the Kings’ ideas and works.

The Boston Foundation has partnered with King Boston’s co-chairs, philanthropist Paul English and Rev. Liz Walker, in administration of the King Boston fund, and provides workspace, guidance, and administrative and technical support for the King Boston Fund

The Boston Foundation’s support for King Boston continues a century-old mission of building and sustaining a vital, prosperous city and region, where justice and opportunity are extended to everyone. On January 15th, Martin Luther King’s 90thbirthday, King Boston and the Boston Foundation partnered to hold a teach-in on Dr. King’s vision of economic justice, held at the historic Arlington Street Church in Boston. The teach-in featured Harvard professors Tommie Shelby and Brandon M. Terry.

Three more teach-ins on the Kings and their work will be held this winter and spring. The next teach-in is scheduled for February 21st.