By Maria Saporta
The King Center Imaging Project’s website — www.thekingcenter.org/archive — is making its debut on the holiday honoring the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. led a team of partners to digitize hundreds of thousands of documents from MLK Jr. and other Civil Rights leaders and organizations so they could made available to people around the world who have access to the internet.
It will instantly become one of the most accessible ways to learn about MLK Jr., the Civil Rights movement and the history of nonviolent social change that exists in the world
At the Salute to Greatness dinner Saturday night, Frank Bisignano, JPMorgan Chase’s chief administrative officer, said it was a perfect project for his firm’s “Technology for Social Good” initiative.
“Thank you for giving us the opportunity to work on this project,” Bisignano said at the dinner. “When Ambassador (Andrew) Young and Martin (Luther King III) came to our office, the legacy was talked about. We raised our hand and said, ‘We would be honored to work on it.’ That was a fabulous thing for us — the digitization of 200,000 records.”
Bisignano said the firm employed 300 people in Atlanta to work on the project, including many veterans. The firm also had 100 volunteers contributing their time to the project.
“People will be able to access it on Monday from all over the world,” said Bisignano, who added that AT&T Business Solutions and EMC “joined us to bring the best technology, not only to digitize the records but to protect them forever. It started out as a conversation to make a gift to the center…” and became a gift to the world.
“The archives will be available on the web around the world so people can learn and so we all can share the dream together,” Bisignano continued. “Most importantly, the legacy can be seen in every country every where.”
The project was endorsed by JPMorgan Chase’s Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon, who appeared on a video shown at the dinner.
“It’s important for JPMorgan Chase to support Dr. King’s legacy because of the important values he committed his life to promoting, such as equality, equal opportunity, and quality education for all,” Dimon said. “People like Dr. Martin Luther King are what made America what it is today. The values he espoused are the values that JPMorgan Chase also tries to stand for around the world.”
Among the famous speeches and correspondence that will now become available online are the “I Have a Dream” speech, “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” and his Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance speech.
King III pointed to the JPMorgan digitization project as one of his legacies as CEO of the King Center over the past 20 months.
“The King Center has made spectacular progress through dynamic partnerships,” King III said, adding that the project was “one of the most important in the King Center’s 44 year history and its historic contribution to America’s heritage — my father’s entire literary output being available online to seven billion people on the planet.”
King III has been replaced as CEO of the King Center by his youngest sister — Bernice King, although he remains the center’s president. His brother, Dexter King, remains as the King Center’s chairman.
The King Center Imaging project includes the creation of a global educational website based on a comprehensive collection of King’s papers and other audio-visual materials. Along with Dr. King’s documents, the Project also includes originals from other key figures and groups involved in the Civil Rights movement
For more information about what JPMorgan Chase is doing to support and celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, please visit www.jpmorganchase.com/mlk.