WASHINGTON — The National Park Foundation announced that the organization’s purchase of the homes where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was born and where he raised his family with Coretta Scott King were made possible by a grant from Fund II Foundation, a charitable foundation led by Vista Equity Partners Founder, Chairman, and CEO Robert F. Smith.
Both properties were immediately transferred to the National Park Service and will be preserved as part of Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park in Atlanta, Georgia. The birth home has been and will continue to be open to the public and the family home will be made accessible to the public for the first time.
“A key component of Fund II Foundation’s mission is to bring African-American history to life and preserve it for generations,” said Robert F Smith. “This grant will help make it possible for all people to experience and learn first-hand about Dr. King’s legacy and the civil rights stories that are part of our shared American heritage.”
As a part of the National Park System, these national treasures of such historic significance and meaning will have the ongoing support needed to preserve them for future generations and to ensure that all people are able to access and share the stories and lessons they hold.
“The homes where Dr. King was born and where he raised his family with Coretta Scott King are critical pieces of American history that will now be preserved in perpetuity and their stories shared digitally. The National Park Foundation is honored to have worked with the Fund II Foundation, the King Center, the estate of Coretta Scott King, and the National Park Service on this incredibly important effort,” said National Park Foundation President Will Shafroth. “We’re grateful to the leadership and vision of Fund II Foundation and its president, Robert F. Smith, for making this possible. This is yet another example of the powerful and significant role that private philanthropy has always and continues to play in increasing public understanding of and access to our shared heritage through national parks.”
ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION
The National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks and nonprofit partner to the National Park Service. Chartered by Congress in 1967, the National Park Foundation raises private funds to help PROTECT more than 84 million acres of national parks through critical conservation and preservation efforts, CONNECT all Americans with their incomparable natural landscapes, vibrant culture and rich history, and ENGAGE the next generation of park stewards. Find out more and become a part of the national park community at www.nationalparks.org.