The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Living Memorial Project will commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s historic August 5, 1966 march through Chicago’s Marquette Park. Recalling the larger legacy of the march – and remembering the struggle for justice and equity – is more urgent now than ever in our city, across our nation and around the world. For more than a decade, high school students, community organizers, public officials and religious leaders from all walks of life have worked towards building Chicago’s very first memorial honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The project will include a permanent art installation, designed by the Chicago Public Art Group (CPAG,) in Marquette Park
that will be unveiled at a public ceremony on Friday, August 5, 2016.
On Saturday, August 6, a festival will be hosted in Marquette Park to celebrate the MLK legacy with artists from across the globe.
The Beloved Community Studio. Upon completion of the MLK Living Memorial, we will turn its construction site into The Beloved Community Studio, a ceramics laboratory for local artists and community members. The Beloved Community Studio will be the first of its kind in the area, an artisan workshop that will allow people to convene, collaborate and to create one-of-a-kind ceramic crafts that can be sold to fuel local commerce and inspire entrepreneurship.
A Youth Policy and Leadership Fellowship Program, placing over a dozen young leaders of tomorrow in organizations or with campaigns working in the spirit of Dr. King to address disparities and injustice in our communities.
While recognizing the historic importance of the Marquette Park March, the project will also leverage that moment to energize and inspire communities across the city and country to remember King’s message and continue to work for genuine social justice.
The Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN), an 18 year-old community organization based in Marquette Park, has played a leadership role in driving this process over the past several years. IMAN has coordinated a diverse group of organizations, institutions and individuals to advance the Memorial Project and its goals. A Planning Committee is helping to raise funds to complete the larger project and to oversee a series of initiatives, special programming and events to commemorate the impact that Dr. King had in Chicago – and to engage youth in communities across the city.