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The Memorial Foundation Launches 10th Anniversary with Announcement of Event Co-Chair Lionel Richie

July 7, 2021

The Memorial Foundation Launches 10th Anniversary with Announcement of Event Co-Chairs

Lionel Richie, Shellye Archambeau and Tommy Hilfiger

 Washington, D.C. — In celebration of its 10th Anniversary year, The Memorial Foundation, builders of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial  announced today the appointment of three Co-Chairs for its 10th Anniversary events:  music icon Lionel Richie, Silicon Valley leader Shellye Archambeau and lifestyle and fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger.

The Co-Chairs will help lead the Memorial Foundation into a new era, supporting its legacy tenets, democracy, justice, hope, and love. The Foundation is committed to sharing its mission as the nation reflects on racial and economic disparities highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the deaths of George Floyd and others.

“We are thrilled to have these bold visionaries collaborating with The Memorial Foundation to elevate the fundamental values of justice and hope when our nation needs them most,” said Harry E. Johnson, Sr. President of The Memorial Foundation. “We are grateful for these Co-Chairs as we celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the opening of The Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial. Their involvement in this year’s commemoration helps establish The Memorial Foundation as a premier institution for training the next generation of servant leaders.

The Memorial, built by the Foundation, is a beacon that has inspired people around the globe, with more than 3 million visitors a year. To mark the Memorial’s 10th year, the Foundation has launched several programs aimed at bringing the memorial’s lesson to young people across the nation. The Social Justice Fellows Program will assist young organizers in taking “protest to policy” through lessons and training from national leaders. The Foundation will also partner with various Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to launch a Global Youth Leadership Conference in several cities in 2021 and 2022.


About the Co-Chairs:  

Lionel Richie is an international superstar with a discography of albums and singles that are second to none. His music is part of the fabric of pop music. With more than 125 million albums sold worldwide, an Oscar®, a Golden Globe®, four Grammy Awards®*, the distinction of MusicCares Person of the Year in 2016, and Kennedy Center Honoree in 2017.  In March 2018, Richie put his handprints and footprints in cement at the TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX in Hollywood, one of the oldest awards in Hollywood. The Tuskegee, Alabama native is a true music icon.

“I am excited to work with The Memorial Foundation because King is one of my heroes. We all stand on his shoulders and his legacy of justice, hope, and love,” said Richie. “The tide is turning in America, so I’m excited to do my part by spreading King’s message to a new generation.”

Shellye Archambeau is an experienced CEO and Board Director with a track record of   accomplishments including building brands, high-performance teams, and organizations. Archambeau currently serves on the boards of Verizon, Nordstrom, Roper Technologies and Okta. She is also a tech industry trailblazer, named second most influential African American in IT by Business Insider.

“Dr. King’s principles of equality and justice inspired me throughout my career in Silicon Valley,” said Shellye Archambeau. “I am excited to partner with The Foundation’s vision to give young people access to leaders and insight to enhance future fights for equity and social justice.”

Tommy Hilfiger is the Principal Designer of the iconic global lifestyle brand, TOMMY HILFIGER. Hilfiger has a longstanding passion for philanthropy and supports various international initiatives and charities through the global TommyCares organization. His longtime support of The Memorial Foundation began more than 10 years ago, as his corporate foundation was a key sponsor of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial project, supporting The Foundation with contributions of more than $8 million dollars as well as executive involvement.

“I am honored to be involved once again with The Memorial Foundation,” said Tommy Hilfiger. “The memorial is a remarkable milestone for all of those who continue to advocate for freedom and equality, and our company takes pride in bringing Dr. King’s inspiring message of perseverance and hope to new generations.”


 About The Memorial Foundation, Inc. Located in Washington, D.C., The Memorial Foundation, Inc. exists to promote awareness of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and its tenets of democracy, justice, hope, and love. The 501C3 nonprofit organization also supports the general upkeep of the Memorial, which as the 5th most-visited memorial on the National Mall sees more than 3 million visitors per year. Learn more at