On the 54th anniversary of civil rights leader the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s inspiring “I have a dream,” speech, representatives of the Atlanta Apartment Association (AAA) and Georgia Apartment Association (GAA) gathered with more than 1,000 others to witness the unveiling of a statue in his honor on the grounds of the Georgia State Capitol. The AAA and GAA were among the leading sponsors in raising the approximately $300,000 needed to create the tribute to Dr. King.
The eight-foot statute, created by artist Martin Dawe, faces east toward the Atlanta neighborhood where King lived most of his life and to the nearby street that now bears his name. The statue was unveiled by Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, the Rev. Bernice King, and other members of the King family.
“We are gathered here today to celebrate the completion of a years-long effort to commemorate the life and works of Georgia’s own son, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” Gov. Deal said. “Dr. King’s legacy is one of hope. He gave, and continues to give, men and women a reason to believe and to dream. He expanded the aspirations of future generations. The America we know is a better place because one man followed his conscience. Erecting a monument in his memory, both facing Liberty Plaza and on the grounds of the Capitol of his home state, is a fitting and long overdue honor.”
Christopher Burns, Senior Vice President of Lincoln Property Company and 2017 GAA Chairman, accepted a miniature version of the King statue from Gov. Deal during the ceremony.
“The legacy of Dr. King as a man of peace, who led a struggle for our nation to live up to its ideals of equal rights and true brotherhood is one we can all embrace,” Burns said. “We are honored to have played a role in making this statue honoring Dr. King a reality that will inspire and educate current and future generations who visit the Georgia State Capitol.”
The path to Monday’s unveiling ceremony began in 2014 when Gov. Deal signed a bill authorizing creation of the statue for display on the Capitol grounds. Most of the money for the statue was raised privately.
“I’m grateful for the dedication and support of the King Estate, Rep. Calvin Smyre, the Georgia Capitol Arts Standards Commission and members of the General Assembly throughout this process,” Gov. Deal said. “I’m also deeply grateful to Coca-Cola, the Atlanta and Georgia Apartment Associations and the Martin Luther King Jr. Advisory Council for their generous support, without which today would not be possible.”
Also representing the AAA and GAA at today’s ceremony were AAA Chair Christie Eash and AAA President Jim Fowler.
About the Atlanta Apartment Association
The Atlanta Apartment Association is the multifamily housing trade association for the Atlanta Metro area. Founded in 1975, AAA is one of the largest local apartment associations in the country and an affiliate of the Georgia Apartment Association and the National Apartment Association. Currently, AAA represents over 1,500 member companies consisting of 370 companies managing 380,000+ apartment homes, and nearly 1,200 businesses that provide products and services to the industry.