MLK Monuments Project reaches fundraising goal

Collage of the renderings of both sculptures courtesy of RootBound

BERRIEN COUNTY, Mich. - The cities of Benton Harbor and St. Joseph will soon be home to collaborative monument's honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The Unified Civic Monuments Project (UCMP) have met their goal of raising $850,000. The groundbreaking ceremony is planned for the week of Juneteenth and the project is scheduled to be completed in the fall. 

Whirlpool Foundation was essential in fundraising efforts. When asked about the Project two years ago, the company's president, Mike Todman, said their 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 grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation through a Patronicity crowdfunding campaign.

The plan has been in development since 2020 when the two cities assembled a group of volunteers to create the UCMP. They then worked with artists David Alan Clark and Harold Woodridge to design and install the bronze sculptures and surrounding interactive elements.

Benton Harbor's statue, which is located at the entrance to City Center Park, features Dr. King standing at the head of a table as a child pushes a chair up to listen to him speak. 

Meanwhile, the statue in St. Joseph, which is atop a hill along the St. Joseph River at the west end of Margaret B. Upton Arboretum, showcases Dr. King standing with two children as one of which releases doves towards its twin statue. The gesture symbolizes peace between the two cities. 

You can donate to their cause, or get more information about the Project, through their website

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