Houston Newsmakers: MLK Day - Is the dream still alive?

MLK Memorial impacts millions

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial (Memorial Foundation)

It was 20 years ago when Houstonian Harry Johnson took on the role of President of the Martin Luther King Memorial Foundation and the job of raising the 127 million dollars needed to build the MLK Memorial in Washington D.C.

Ten years ago his job was successfully completed and now he can see the great impact the memorial has had.

“We thought it was going to be built so that people of color could come and have someone to look up to and acknowledge, especially Dr. King on his birthday,” Johnson said. “The memorial has become a place of solitude for millions of people across the country and indeed the world.”

Johnson continues as President and CEO of The Memorial Foundation and is one of the guests on this week’s Houston Newsmakers with Khambrel Marshall. He talks about how the themes of the Memorial embrace what Dr. King stood for.

Local organizations embody the dreams of Dr. King

The Houston Area Urban League and the YMCA of Greater Houston have some missions in common as they focus on helping their communities reach their potential. Both have recently opened programs that focus on understanding and learning how to overcome inequality.

For the Houston Area Urban League, it was the Center for Social Justice and Education.

“We launched the center to ensure that we were educating people about what their rights are, what justice really means,” said Judson Robinson III, the President and CEO of the Houston Area Urban League.

For the YMCA of Greater Houston, it was the Quintin Meese Equity Innovation Center.

“Our goal is to foster meaningful courageous conversations with each other. Differing viewpoints,” said Steve Ives, President & CEO of the YMCA of Greater Houston. They both are guests on this week’s Houston Newsmakers and talk about how their organizations are making a difference for now and in the future in a way that would make Dr. King proud.

‘Speaking Up: Confronting Hate Speech’

Hate crimes in 2021 against the Asian community rose dramatically. That is one of the reasons the Holocaust Museum Houston has teamed up to help change that narrative.

“We partnered with that community to create this exhibition so there would be greater awareness about the importance of fighting hate speech, but also how dehumanization is a major component of hate speech,” said Dr. Kelly J. Zúñiga, CEO of Holocaust Museum Houston.

The exhibition she’s referring to is called “Speaking Up: Confronting Hate Speech and will be on display until May1st. Find out more about the exhibition and the upcoming two day conference on fighting hate in February.

For more information on all of the topics this week:


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