Groundbreaking ceremony for twin monuments in Benton Harbor and St. Joseph today, Juneteenth

NOW: Groundbreaking ceremony for twin monuments in Benton Harbor and St. Joseph today, Juneteenth

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. -- A groundbreaking takes place today on two twin monuments in Benton Harbor and St. Joseph.

The Unified Civic Monuments Project has been in the works since 2020.

Breaking ground on Juneteenth is significant, as these monuments commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and represent unity and freedom for all.

Sharon Brown, Co-Director of the African American History and Literature Gallery and her husband, Emanuel co-founded the project.

Artists team David Alan Clark and Harold Woodridge designed the bronze sculptures, which both feature Dr. King inspiring hopeful youth.

One shows Dr. King and 2 young people releasing doves into the air towards the other monument, which shows a young person bringing a seat up to MLK's table.

Funds and community awareness were raised to support the vision, and now today, it's becoming a reality.

The groundbreaking ceremony starts at the Dwight P. Mitchell City Center Park in Benton Harbor at 4:30 with special speakers, music and fanfare lined up.

A bus will then head to St. Joseph next to celebrate the groundbreaking of the second monument, with a different twist on the speakers and content there.

A reception at the secret garden is planned to wrap up festivities.

Tami Fauver, director of Krasl Art Center says they're excited to have Dr. MLK Jr. honored in the twin cities.

Whether you're a Benton Harbor or St. Joe resident, you'll have a unique experience with both monuments.

Fauver says, "this is a really celebratory moment for us where we get to break the ground and know that we are fully supporting the project financially, it's ready to go. The artists are finalizing the figures now and we look forward to their final realization within the next year."

You can find more information on the project and today's groundbreaking at the project's website.

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