Celebrate with Us

This year, The Memorial Foundations celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. For the past decade, more than 3 million people every year have visited The Memorial on the National Mall annually, quickly making it one of the must-see destinations in our nation’s capital. The Memorial Foundation has hosted annual events at the Memorial, from wreath ceremonies on Dr. King’s birthday to candlelight vigils to mark the anniversary of his death.

The Foundation also hosts a special film series, “Films at the Stone,” each summer and an and annual – Leadership of Democracy Award Luncheon that has honored Congresswoman Joyce Beatty Congressman, John Lewis, Congressman Gregory Meeks, and Rev. Jesse Jackson. As we look ahead to the next decade and beyond, we remain committed to Dr. King’s four tenets of democracy, justice, hope, and love. Our goal is to foster and develop the next generation of civil rights leaders by instilling in them the faith that Dr. King had in our shared humanity. 




Since opening to the public in 2011, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial has become more than a tourist destination—but a gathering point and beacon of hope. The Memorial unites people of all ages and ethnicities as they take in Dr. King’s universal legacy through the 14 quotations inscribed on the walls.

The Memorial has become a rallying point for social justice and has served as a backdrop for numerous marches and gatherings. Notable visitors include President Barack Obama, Prince Charles, a plethora of Congressional delegations, Jamie Foxx, and Oprah Winfrey. And in 2020, the funeral procession of Rep. John Lewis made a stop at the memorial.


Over the past decade, The Memorial has become a symbolic gathering place for individuals fighting for social justice and human rights.

To ensure that Dr. King’s legacy thrives forever, The Memorial Foundation has focused its efforts on proactively developing and supporting the next generation of leaders. 

The Memorial Foundation created the Social Justice Fellows Program to provide rising leaders with the tools needed to make a difference. During the Global Youth Leadership Conference, The Foundation partners with HBCUs to inspire 3,000-plus attendees with motivational speakers, leadership workshops, panelists, and influencers.



Candlelight vigil 

The Memorial Foundation will host a virtual Candlelight Vigil and Wreath-laying Ceremony on the National Mall to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The program will feature the renowned choir of Morgan State University and an intimate conversation with Rev. Jesse Jackson and journalist Roland Martin on Dr. King’s legacy.

“As we commemorate the April 4th death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. we must not forget his beliefs on unity and non-violence. His tenets of Democracy, Justice, Hope, and Love are just as relevant today as they were more than 53 years ago,” said Harry E. Johnson, Sr. President of The Memorial Foundation.

The recent horrific gun violence in both Boulder and Atlanta, coupled with the recurring instances of physical attacks on members of the Asian community, is the reason The Memorial Foundation continues its efforts of promoting peace and unity today. Progress has been made but there is still much work to be done.

During the program, leaders will lay a wreath down at the Stone of Hope. The online event will also feature a conversation between Rev. Jesse Jackson, journalist Roland Martin, and The Memorial Foundation President, Harry E. Johnson, Sr. The acclaimed Morgan State University Choir will perform a few selections.

Wreath Laying

WASHINGTON, DC - The Memorial Foundation, Inc., the foundation responsible for building the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial on the National Mall is pleased to present an inspiring day of Reflection and Reconciliation at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. Dr. King’s Holiday will mark the Memorial’s tenth anniversary of paying tribute to Dr. King by having prayer and a wreath-laying ceremony.  We look forward to celebrating this free and public event to recognize Dr. King’s Holiday and a day of Reflection and Reconciliation. Social distance protocol will be followed.

Every January we meet at the Memorial to reflect on the life and legacy of Dr. King and this year is no exception. However, countless families are still hurting from the effects of the global pandemic. Realizing the need for dialog concerning Social Justice, we will gather this year under the theme of LOVE, said Harry E. Johnson, Sr., President and CEO, The Memorial Foundation.

On this day of Reflection and Reconciliation, we will highlight LOVE, one of the four tenets of democracy, justice, hope, and love. We are pleased that The Memorial Foundation and some of its partners will be giving away gift cards for groceries, to those in attendance at the MLK Memorial. We will also be joined by Amazon, our new partner, to distribute Care Boxes to families who are in family shelters in and around Washington DC