Embrace Boston

Embrace Boston logo

What is now called the Embrace Boston Fund was established at the Boston Foundation in 2017, with an inaugural gift of $1,000,000 from local entrepreneur Paul English, to spark the creation of a memorial tribute to Martin Luther King and Coretta Scott King in the city of Boston, where Martin and Coretta met and spent their formative years. Since that time, the work of Embrace Boston, formerly known as King Boston, has expanded in scope to include not just the memorial but also an annual Ideas Festival and the development of a permanent center for racial and social justice in Roxbury. 

MLK Boston Fund

In the spirit of the Kings’ community-mobilizing work, the planning and development process for the project has been made especially inclusive. In 2019, the King Boston advisory committee, with significant public input, selected the sculpture The Embrace as the design for the memorial to the Kings on Boston Common. 

Groundbreaking for the memorial occurred in 2022, with an eye toward dedicating the sculpture on Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend in January 2023. In October 2022, King Boston changed its name to Embrace Boston, to reflect its groundbreaking work in bringing The Embrace Memorial to the city and moving into the next phase of its vision of building a radically equitable City of Boston by 2030.

Current initiatives include:

  • Continued work with the Roxbury Strategic Masterplan Oversight Committee and My City at Peace, a community building organization, and HYM on the development of a parcel in Roxbury known as Parcel 3 (“P-3”) for the future Embrace Center. The Embrace Center will serve as a public cultural hub and anchor for the Black community to include exhibitions, a performance space, indoor and outdoor gathering and workspace, and commercial spaces for lease by Black-owned eateries and entrepreneurs.
  • Finalizing a two year-long campaign across multiple neighborhoods to identify and select known and unknown figures of the civil rights movement to be honored at the 1965 Freedom Plaza at the site of The Embrace Memorial.
  • Amplifying arts and culture from across the cities 20+ neighborhoods by uplifting the work of diverse artists and musicians.
  • Expanded research and policy agenda including the first ever ‘Boston Harm Report’, which will serve as an educational handbook for legislators and other stakeholders, as well as a starting point for community conversation around reparations to atone for the historical and ongoing disenfranchisement of Black people in Boston.

Updates can be found on the Embrace Boston website, embraceboston.org.

The Boston Foundation’s Role

The Boston Foundation manages and invests the assets of the Embrace Boston Fund as they are raised. The Foundation houses the office of Embrace Boston and provides a fundraising platform for donations of all sizes. 

To make a credit card donation to Embrace Boston, visit EmbraceBoston.org/donate and complete the form there. To donate by check or other means, please follow the directions on our Gift Instructions.

For questions about King Boston or making a gift, please contact King Boston Executive Director Imari Paris Jeffries.