On behalf of the National Black Growers Council, Monsanto Company donated $100,000 to the Washington DC Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Foundation Project, Inc. in support of the recently dedicated Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
The NBGC is a coalition of African American farmers whose mission is to improve the efficiency, productivity, and sustainability of Black, row-crop farmers. The coalition advocates for the 21st century policy needs and focuses on the future of Black growers. The grant was presented to the foundation in a gathering that included Harry E. Johnson Sr., president and CEO of the Washington, DC Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, Inc., Phillip J. (P.J.) Haynie III, a fifth generation farmer and NBGC board member, and Dewayne L. Goldmon, Monsanto's director of stakeholder relations.
"We are proud to support this memorial that commemorates such an important figure. Dr. King's work paved the way for organizations, like the NBGC, to accomplish their goals. As farmers, his efforts have allowed us to help sustain diversity in agriculture while we continue to feed and clothe the world." said Haynie. "We'd like to thank Monsanto for funding this donation on the behalf of the NBGC."
The $100,000 donation made by Monsanto, an agricultural company committed to developing products that allow farmers to produce more crops using fewer resources, continues to push the Memorial Foundation toward its final fundraising goal of $120 million.
"We are very honored that Monsanto and the NBGC have partnered together to make this special gift to our historical efforts," said Johnson. "This donation brings us one step closer to closing out our fundraising goal. To date, we have secured $119 of the $120 million needed and feel very confident that others will join Monsanto and NBGC in helping to complete this dream and honor Dr. King."
Johnson has served in his position for nearly ten years and has been credited with bringing the Foundation's efforts to its public phase, where the fundraising efforts have tripled under his leadership. Currently the Foundation has raised $119 million of the $120 million needed.
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial is the first on the National Mall to honor a man of peace, hope, and color and has welcomed thousands of visitors since its August opening. Located on the Tidal Basin, the Memorial creates a visual line of leadership between the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials. The Memorial is an engaging landscape experience conveying four fundamental and recurring themes throughout Dr. King's life – democracy, hope, justice, and love – and features the use of natural elements including water, stone, and trees. A 450-foot inscription wall showcases 14 quotations from Dr. King's speeches, sermons, and writings, to serve as a lasting testament and reminder of Dr. King's humanitarian vision. The Memorial includes the "Mountain of Despair" and the "Stone of Hope," which features a 30-foot sculpture of Dr. King.