FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 28, 2017
SCLC President & CEO releases statement regarding unveiling of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Statue at Georgia Capitol
ATLANTA – Dr. Charles Steele, Jr., President and CEO of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), issued the following statement today about the unveiling of the statue commemorating the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The statue, located on the grounds of the Georgia Capitol in Atlanta, comes three years after Dr. Steele and other leaders advocated for the tribute of Dr. King, one of the SCLC’s co-founders and the organization’s first leader.
“This is an historic and significant day,” Dr. Steele said. “We commend the governor and the State Legislature for their approval of the legislation that made possible the erection of this statue honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This statue, erected on public grounds, not only recognizes Dr. King but it honors all the people who were disenfranchised and forgotten. They all made sacrifices and overcame tremendous hurdles, but in the battle for freedom Dr. King gave his life so we all can enjoy the privileges we enjoy today.
The Southern Christian Leadership Conference was proud to lead the efforts to establish this monument, and it is significant and necessary that we did since Dr. King was a cofounder and the first leader of this organization, which is recognized worldwide for advocating for human rights using Dr. King’s philosophy of nonviolent protest. As the SCLC has been saying since we began asking for this statue four years ago, it commemorates the philosophy and work of Dr. King, and it helps promote his vision that all ethnicities and races must come together.
We are joyful that the statue is being unveiled today, a day marking the 54th anniversary of Dr. King’s historic speech at the March on Washington in 1963. We are thankful for the hard work and visionary leadership of everyone involved in making this day possible.
The timing for today’s event coincided with the anniversary of Dr. King’s speech and not any recent events surrounding commemorative statues. The monuments throughout this country that honored men who sowed division and hatred should never have been erected. Whenever you have an action, there is always a reaction. We are so thankful that the reaction in Georgia has been positive and peaceful and not like what happened in Charlottesville.”
NOTE: Dr. Steele is not able to be at today’s event because he is in Washington, D.C., with social justice leaders at an event commemorating the “I Have a Dream” speech.
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ABOUT THE SCLC: Established in 1957, the SCLC, whose first president was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is a now an international organization made up of chapters and affiliates with programs that affect the lives of all Americans: north, south, east, and west. Its sphere of influence and interests has become international in scope because the human rights movement transcends national boundaries. For additional information about the SCLC, visitwww.nationalsclc.org.To arrange an interview with Dr. Steele, contact at Antionette Robinson at firstname.lastname@example.org, (909) 973-7113, orMaynard Eaton, National Communications Director,(404) 254-8322. email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.