Unified Civic Monuments Project meets $850,000 fundraising goal

The Unified Civic Monuments Project is announcing they have met their fundraising goal of $850,000. The group says the monuments are the only collaborative, multi-city project in the country honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The groundbreaking ceremony is planned for the week of Juneteenth 2024 and the unveiling will be scheduled upon completion in late fall.

The final fundraising push included a grant from the Whirlpool Foundation that was contingent on raising the balance of the funds. The challenge was announced two years ago by Mike Todman, president of the Whirlpool Foundation, who said at the time that the Whirlpool Foundation’s support is “about building a diverse community and a hopeful future for the next generation.”

The group has also been approved for a $50,000 matching grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation through a Patronicity crowdfunding campaign.

The cities of Benton Harbor and St. Joseph formed the BH/SJ Arts and Cultural Social Justice and assembled a group of volunteers as the Unified Civic Monuments Project (UCMP) in 2020. After a national search process, the group began working with artist team David Alan Clark and Harold Woodridge to design and install the bronze sculptures and surrounding interactive elements. The designs have been approved by both city councils, and both feature Dr. King inspiring a hopeful youth in unity and love.

Additional funds raised now that the initial goal is met will be used for ongoing programming, curriculum development, special events, monument site maintenance, and potential future monument enhancements. More information and the donation link can be found at unifiedmonuments.org/donate.

The Unified Civic Monuments Project is led by the founders of the African American History & Literature Gallery, with the support of Krasl Art Center, Lake Michigan College, Berrien Community Foundation, the BH-SJ Arts & Culture Social Justice Group, and the cities of Benton Harbor and St. Joseph.


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