02-19-2017  3:29 pm      •     

(Photo 1) From left:  Harry E. Johnson, Sr., President and CEO, Washington, DC Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial; Guy Vickers, President of the Tommy Hilfiger Corporate Foundation; Dr. Christine King Farris; Isaac Newton Farris, Jr., President and CEO, The King Center; Darryl R. Matthews, Sr., General President, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc; and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. members Milton Davis, Arthur Fleming, Frank Russell, Dr. Ozell Sutton, and Chris Womack. Photo credit:  Horace Henry.

(Photo2) Louie Watson, Nationwide Insurance; Harry E. Johnson, Sr. President and CEO, Washington, DC Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, Inc; Darryl R. Matthews, General President of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.; Dr. Christine King Farris; Terrance Williams, Nationwide Insurance. Photo credit:  Sue Ross.

  Nationwide Foundation Donates $1 Million
Lifting Funds to $94.8 Million
 (AANEWSWIRE) (Washington, D.C., June 23, 2008) – The Washington, DC Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, Inc. hosted an Atlanta 'Dream Dinner' Thursday night at the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta in support of the four-acre memorial soon to be built on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.   The Memorial Foundation presented Dr. Christine King Farris, author and Dr. King's sister, and Isaac Newton Farris, Jr., Dr. King's nephew and President and CEO of the King Center in Atlanta, with a miniature replica of the Stone of Hope, the centerpiece of the Memorial.  
"The King Family wholeheartedly supports the National Memorial and the artist who is sculpting a portion of it," said Isaac Newton Farris, Jr.  "It is the first national memorial to a peaceful and non violent warrior on the National Mall. Generations to come need examples of confrontation and boldness. Dr. King was confrontational and it is appropriate that he be portrayed in that way."
The Memorial Foundation announced several major donations including a Nationwide Foundation donation of $1 million, a Delta Air Lines donation of $250,000, and a CVS Caremark donation of $250,000. 
"Nationwide is pleased to support the construction of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial with a grant from the Nationwide Foundation," said Chad Jester, president of the Nationwide Foundation. "This monument will serve as an enduring reminder of Dr. King's important legacy for generations to come."  
Memorial Foundation Announces Georgia-Based Granite Broker to Identify Domestic Granite
The Memorial Foundation also announced that Angela Fortson, the African American owner of Southeastern Granite Company based in Elberton, GA, will serve as the granite broker to identify granite from domestic sources.  Southeastern Granite also provided portions of the stone for The Jimmy Carter Presidential Center.  Fortson will serve as a subcontractor to McKissack & McKissack/Turner Construction Company/ Gilford Corporation/Tompkins Builders, Inc. Joint Venture, the Memorial Foundation's African American female-led Design-Build team.
Participants and Attendees  
Event participants and attendees  included:  J. Alexander M. Douglas, President, Coca-Cola North America; Terrance Williams, Regional Vice President of Southern States for Nationwide Insurance; Louie Watson, Vice President for Nationwide Retirement Solutions; Richard Anderson, CEO, Delta Air Lines; Gordon Howard, Area VP, CVS Caremark; Lisa Borders, President, Atlanta City Council; Dr. Ozell Sutton, Former President, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.; Darryl R. Matthews, President, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.; and Harry E. Johnson, Sr., President and CEO, the Washington, DC Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial , and Mike Woodson, Coach, Atlanta Hawks Project Foundation, Inc.  Grammy award-winning R&B and gospel vocalist, writer and producer BeBe Winans performed and WSB-TV Action News anchor Monica Pearson served as Mistress of Ceremonies.    
"I am proud that the Atlanta community came out in full force to support the building of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial," said Johnson.  "Now is the time for all citizens to follow the lead of the City of Atlanta, the Nationwide Foundation, and all of our supporters by making a donation of any amount to the Memorial."
The Memorial Foundation has hosted Dream Dinners in Los Angeles, Houston, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and San Francisco.  A Dream Concert took place at Radio City Music Hall in New York City last September. 
The donations surrounding the Atlanta Dream Dinner raises the Memorial Foundation's fundraising total to $94.8 million.  The following major donors have contributed to the Memorial:  General Motors, Tommy Hilfiger Corporate Foundation, NBA/WNBA, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., W.K. Kellogg Foundation, The Walt Disney Company Foundation, The Coca-Cola Foundation, The Ford Motor Fund, Toyota, AARP, AFLAC, BP America, Inc., CIGNA, Credit Unions of the United States, DuPont, ExxonMobil Foundation, Fannie Mae Corporation, FedEx Corporation, GE, Ann and Joel Horowitz Family Foundation, Sheila C. Johnson-Newman, Lehman Brothers, George Lucas, MacFarlane Partners, The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation, McDonald's Corporation, MetLife Foundation, National Association of Realtors (NAR), National Education Association (NEA), PepsiCo Foundation, The Pew Charitable Trusts, Pfizer Foundation, Prudential Financial, Inc., Shell Oil Company, State Farm Insurance, Verizon  Foundation, Viacom, Wal-Mart and Morehouse College, among others.
About the Washington, DC Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, Inc.
A Memorial honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will be built on the National Mall, situated adjacent to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial and in a direct line between the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials.  Congress passed Joint Resolutions in 1996 authorizing Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. to establish a Memorial honoring Dr. King to be built in Washington, D.C.  The ceremonial groundbreaking took place on November 13, 2006.  McKissack & McKissack / Turner Construction Company/ Gilford Corporation / Tompkins Builders, Inc.  Joint Venture will serve as the Design-Build Team. McKissack & McKissack is the oldest minority-owned architectural firm in the United States.  For more information, please visit www.buildthedream.org
About Nationwide 
Nationwide, based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the world. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com. The Nationwide Foundation is an independent corporation funded by contributions from Nationwide companies.

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  • WASHINGTON (AP) — One month after the inauguration, the stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of Donald Trump's White House still is a hard-hat zone. Skeletal remains of the inaugural reviewing stands poke skyward. Random piles of plywood and cables are heaped on the ground inside crooked lines of metal fencing. The disarray outside the president's front door, though not his fault, serves as a metaphor for the tumult still unfolding inside. Four weeks in, the man who says he inherited "a mess" at home and abroad is presiding over a White House that is widely described as itself being a mess. At a stunning pace, Trump has riled world leaders and frustrated allies. He was dealt a bruising legal blow on one of his signature policies. He lost his national security adviser and his pick for labor secretary to scandal. He's seen forces within his government push back against his policies and leak confidential information. All of this has played out amid a steady drip of revelations about an FBI investigation into his campaign's contacts with Russian intelligence officials. Trump says his administration is running like a "fine-tuned machine." He points to the rising stock market and the devotion of his still-loyal supporters as evidence that all is well, although his job approval rating is much lower than that for prior presidents in their first weeks in office. Stung by the unrelenting criticism coming his way, Trump dismisses much of it as "fake news" delivered by "the enemy of the people" — aka the press. Daily denunciations of the media are just one of the new White House fixtures Americans are adjusting to. Most days start (and end) with presidential tweets riffing off of whatever's on TV talk shows or teasing coming events or hurling insults at the media. At some point in the day, count on Trump to cast back to the marvels of his upset of Democrat Hillary Clinton in the November election and quite possibly overstate his margins of support. Expect more denunciations of the "dishonest" press and its "fake news." From there, things can veer in unexpected directions as Trump offers up policy pronouncements or offhand remarks that leave even White House aides struggling to interpret them. The long-standing U.S. policy of seeking a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Trump this past week offered this cryptic pronouncement: "I'm looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like. I can live with either one." His U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley, the next day insisted, "We absolutely support a two-state solution." Trump's days are busy. Outside groups troop in for "listening sessions." Foreign leaders call or come to visit. (Or, in the case of Mexico's president, cancel out in pique over Trump's talk about the planned border wall.) After the president signed two dozen executive actions, the White House was awaiting a rush order of more of the gold-plated Cross pens that Trump prefers to the chrome-plated ones used by his predecessor. Trump hands them out as souvenirs at the signing ceremonies that he points to as evidence of his ambitious pace. "This last month has represented an unprecedented degree of action on behalf of the great citizens of our country," Trump said at a Thursday news conference. "Again, I say it. There has never been a presidency that's done so much in such a short period of time." That's all music to the ears of his followers, who sent him to Washington to upend the established order and play the role of disrupter. "I can't believe there's actually a politician doing what he says he would do," says an approving Scott Hiltgen, a 66-year-old office furniture sales broker from River Falls, Wisconsin. "That never happens." Disrupt Trump has. But there may be more sound and fury than substance to many of his early actions. Trump did select Judge Neil Gorsuch to replace the late Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court, a nomination that has drawn strong reviews from conservatives. But the president is regrouping on immigration after federal judges blocked his order to suspend the United States' refugee program and ban visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries, which had caused chaos for travelers around the globe. Some other orders on issues such as the U.S.-Mexico border wall and former President Barack Obama's health care law are of limited effect. Trump says his early actions show he means to deliver on the promises he made during the campaign. "A lot of people say, 'Oh, oh, Trump was only kidding with the wall,'" the president told a group of police chiefs recently. "I wasn't kidding. I don't kid." But the Republican-led Congress is still waiting to see specifics on how Trump wants to proceed legislatively on top initiatives such as replacing the health care law, enacting tax cuts and revising trade deals. The messy rollout of the travel ban and tumult over the ouster of national security adviser Michael Flynn for misrepresenting his contacts with Russia are part of a broader state of disarray as different figures in Trump's White House jockey for power and leaks reveal internal discord in the machinations of the presidency. "I thought by now you'd at least hear the outlines of domestic legislation like tax cuts," says Princeton historian Julian Zelizer. "But a lot of that has slowed. Trump shouldn't mistake the fact that some of his supporters like his style with the fact that a lot of Republicans just want the policies he promised them. He has to deliver that." Put Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in the camp of those more interested in substance than style. "I'm not a great fan of daily tweets," McConnell said Friday, referring to the "extra discussion" that Trump likes to engage in. But McConnell was quick to add: "What I am a fan of is what he's been actually doing." He credits Trump with assembling a conservative Cabinet and taking steps to reduce government regulation, and promised: "We like his positions and we're going to pursue them as vigorously as we can." The challenge may be to tease out exactly what Trump wants in the way of a health care plan, tax changes and trade policy. At his long and defiant news conference on Thursday, Trump tried to dispel the impression of a White House in crisis, squarely blaming the press for keeping him from moving forward more decisively on his agenda. Pointing to his chief of staff, Reince Priebus, Trump said, "You take a look at Reince, he's working so hard just putting out fires that are fake fires. I mean, they're fake. They're not true. And isn't that a shame because he'd rather be working on health care, he'd rather be working on tax reform." For all the frustrations of his early days as president, Trump still seems tickled by the trappings of his office. When New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie visited the White House last week to discuss the national opioid epidemic over lunch, the governor said Trump informed him: "Chris, you and I are going to have the meatloaf.'" Trump added: "I'm telling you, the meatloaf is fabulous." ___Follow Nancy Benac on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nbenac
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