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MLK Memorial Effort In Boston Gets $1M From Bank of America

BOSTON (AP) — The organization planning a memorial to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King in Boston is getting a $1 million grant from Bank of America, company officials said Monday.

The grant to King Boston will support the creation of the sculpture memorial, featuring interlocking arms and entitled "The Embrace," on Boston Common. It will also support a new Center for Economic Justice to promote solutions to further racial and economic justice and a public ideas series that engages the community in anti-racist discourse through the arts and humanities, the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank said in a statement.

King Boston has now raised about $13.5 million toward its $15 million target, executive director Imari Paris Jeffries told The Boston Globe.

He told WBZ-TV, "While the rest of the country is tearing down memorials to symbols that don't represent us, Boston is building a memorial — a 22-foot, three-story high memorial — that represents who we want to be and who we want to be post-pandemic...That feels pretty darn exciting."

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The Embrace (Photo credit: King Boston)

In addition to the $1 million of the King initiative, Bank of America also pledged $500,000 to the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers to address critical health equity concerns with COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

The civil rights leader and his wife first met in Boston in the early 1950s, when he was a doctoral student in theology at Boston University and she was studying at the New England Conservatory of Music.

"It is with generous contributions from large, established institutions that we are able to interrogate racism and advocate for the issues that Dr. and Mrs. King fought for over 50 years ago — wealth, housing, racial equity and public education," Jeffries said in a statement.

The grant funding is part of the bank's $1.25 billion, five-year commitment to accelerate work already underway to address racial inequality nationwide.

(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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