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GM Is A Driving Force Behind National MLK Memorial


Automaker Leads Corporate Efforts to Raise Funds For Landmark Monument

2006-11-10 - DETROIT - Since 2000, General Motors has been a proud corporate sponsor of the Washington, DC Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, Inc., and its effort to build a memorial honoring one of America’s greatest inspirational leaders. After years of planning and fund raising, the ceremonial groundbreaking on the much-anticipated project will take place Monday in the nation’s capital.

The King Memorial, the first on the National Mall to honor a person of color and a non-president, will stand on four acres at the edge of the Tidal Basin . It will be situated adjacent to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial and in a direct line between the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials. The site will create a visual “line of leadership” from the Lincoln Memorial – where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963 – to the Jefferson Memorial.

GM is committed to being a driving force behind the memorial and honoring Dr. King’s contributions to the civil rights movement and humanity. GM and the GM Foundation donated $10 million to the campaign, becoming the lead corporate sponsor in the effort to build the monument. GM’s commitment will continue well beyond the groundbreaking by providing continued leadership for ongoing fund raising efforts. So far, corporations, organizations and individuals have raised two-thirds of the $100 million needed to build and maintain the memorial.

“From the onset, our goal has been to fulfill the dream of seeing a Dr. King memorial on the National Mall,” said Gary Cowger, GM global group vice president and co-chair of the MLK Memorial Foundation’s Executive Leadership Cabinet. “GM’s involvement, however, extends far beyond our initial monetary gift.”

The MLK Memorial Foundation’s Executive Leadership Cabinet (ELC) was established to cultivate and solicit major corporate gifts. Cowger co-chairs the ELC along with Andrew Young, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and civil rights pioneer. The late Coretta Scott King also co-chaired the ELC until her death in January 2006.

In addition, Roderick D. Gillum, GM vice president, corporate responsibility and diversity, is chairman of the MLK Memorial Foundation’s board of directors.

“We have provided organizational guidance, assisted with the ongoing efforts to identify and secure additional donors, and provided resources to help raise the overall public awareness of the project,” said Cowger. “I am proud of the role GM has played in helping us reach this historic milestone.”

General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM), the world’s largest automaker, has been the global industry sales leader for 75 years. Founded in 1908, GM today employs about 327,000 people around the world. With global headquarters in Detroit , GM manufactures its cars and trucks in 33 countries. In 2005, 9.17 million GM cars and trucks were sold globally under the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, HUMMER, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn and Vauxhall. GM operates one of the world’s leading finance companies, GMAC Financial Services, which offers automotive, residential and commercial financing and insurance. GM’s OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. More information on GM can be found at


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