Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 2023

“True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

As the world celebrates the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we honor the past while remaining dedicated to the present and the ongoing struggle for justice and equity for all Americans. We also look forward to the promise of the future and the significance of the 2024 opening of a new wing at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights (The Center). Funded by a $17 million grant from the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, the top floor of the new three-story wing will feature the Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection.

The new wing at The Center will also include a gallery on the lobby level to engage families and children, a gallery to showcase the Without Sanctuary Collection, gallery space for temporary and visiting exhibitions and a café.

The Morehouse College Martin Luther King Jr. Collection (the Collection) consists of handwritten notes, photographs, speeches, manuscripts, sermons, personal effects and other historically profound artifacts from Dr. King’s life and work from 1944 to 1968. The foundation is both proud and humbled to play a role in developing a premiere space to highlight the Collection. We are proud to be in a position to provide the funding to bring this vision to life and humbled by our place in sharing this rich history with the world and the lasting impact it will have on current and future generations.

Regarding the important work being done at The Center, Arthur Blank has said, “The most effective way to make progress together as a community is to shine a light on the issues that exist and to then do something about them so that everyone can feel a sense of understanding and support. We believe in the power of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights to educate, include and transform the whole of this community and this country so that together, we can create tangible, positive change.”

And we feel that tangible change can be created through the actual tangible items featured in the Collection. These archives represent the public and personal thoughts and actions of an exemplary civil rights leader, somebody who gave us the greatest of all dreams to pursue.

Our partners at The Center also believe in justice and dignity for all – and the power of people to make it real. We share this belief at the foundation and all of us pledge to do our part to make it real, on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and every day.

Alongside the Atlanta community and all of America, we will continue the march toward universal equality because, in the words of Dr. King, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”