Located on the Tidal Basin, the 30-foot tall King Memorial is carved into a 450-foot granite wall bearing one of his notable quotes: “Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope.”
Leaders from the credit union industry were among the thousands of visitors who traveled to Washington to take in the Oct. 16 unveiling and dedication of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.
Since 2007, credit unions, leagues trade groups and others within the movement raised $1.4 million to aid in building the monument to honor the slain civil rights pioneer.
The African American Credit Union Coalition spearheaded a campaign to raise funds. Several current and past AACUC board directors and members were there to witness the King Memorial festivities on the National Mall: Sheilah Montgomery, AACUC chairperson; Hubert Hoosman, funding development chairman; Barbara Stephens, conference committee chairperson; Melinda Edmonds, membership committee chairperson; Bob Harvey, past AACUC chairperson, Lynette Smith of Washington Gas & Light FCU, and Michael Ray of Congressional FCU.
Master Lei Yixin, carver of the King Memorial, is pictured, from left, with AACUC Chairperson Sheilah Montgomery; Hubert Hoosman, CEO of Vantage CU, and AACUC Board Members Barbara Stephens, Lynette Smith and Michael Ray.
Vantage CEO Hubert Hoosman attended one of the King Memorial events where civil rights activist and longtime Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) was in attendance. Hoosman, who heads up a $668 million St. Louis-area credit union, was a determined fundraiser for the new King Memorial. Just ask N.C. SECU CEO Jim Blaine.
Clothing designer and tycoon Tommy Hilfiger, shown here at the dedication with Hubert Hoosman, was a major backer of the King Monument effort. The Tommy Hilfiger Corporate Foundation provided $6.25 million and board leadership to the project, as did other major corporations, including General Motors. Luminaries from the world of business, politics and sports were at the dedication, which included musical performances from Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and Sheryl Crow. President Barack Obama also spoke.