The late George Sealey, the late Alfred C. Bailey, the late Oscar Little, the late John Harvey, Eddie Madison, and Harold Navy of the Iota Upsilon Lambda chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., conceived the idea of building the memorial.
Congress passed legislation authorizing the fraternity to establish a memorial in Washington, DC.
The charter for the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, Inc. was approved, and the Foundation was established.
Fraternity President Harry E. Johnson, Sr. took on the role of President and CEO of the Foundation. Johnson worked with Executive Architect Dr. Ed Jackson, Chief Financial Officer Richard W. Marshall, and a small staff to raise $120 million to complete the memorial.
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial was complete. On October 16, 2011, thousands joined President Barack Obama on the National Mall to officially dedicate the memorial.