Martin Luther King, Jr. envisioned a society based on love, equality, and nonviolence, called the Beloved Community. Beloved Streets of America takes its name from this vision. We want to ensure Dr. King’s dream is made real on every street named for the civil rights leader.
Nearly 900 streets in the U.S. bear the name of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The movement to memorialize Dr. King first gained momentum in the 1980’s after Ronald Reagan signed Dr. King’s birthday into a national holiday, and many MLK streets were once thriving urban districts. Today, however, urban decline and a lack of resources has left most of these streets to now mark some of the most impoverished cities and distressed neighborhoods in the country.
Beloved Streets of America’s goal is to bring back pride and prosperity to the streets named after Dr. King. We are implementing a comprehensive plan to reverse the decay of the communities surrounding the streets named after Dr. King and provide a positive environment for growth.
Right now, MLK streets have a reputation as crime-ridden, unsafe areas where non-blacks seldom travel. These streets typically experience a lack of sustainable community economic development or cultural revitalization activities.
Our initiative begins on St. Louis’ own Martin Luther King Drive, which is a prime example of the sad state of many MLK streets today.
We have developed a complete Program of Neighborhood Amenities and Site Improvements for Martin Luther King Drive. The revitalization will have three phases:
First: Low-cost measures to clean and secure vacant buildings and lots.
Second: Repair and renovate salvageable buildings
Last: New development projects (Learn about our Legacy Corner Park project here!)
We will focus on educational and recreational programs for the youth, creating jobs, reducing crime, and encouraging new businesses back to the neighborhood. We will implement mentorship programs, nutritional education, and promote urban agriculture, green technology and sustainability. (Learn about our partnership with Square Fruits Lab and others here!)
Our goal is to revitalize the St. Louis Martin Luther King Drive first, and then mobilize our initiative in 16 additional cities over the next five years.
Help us bring dignity to these streets, revitalize their communities, and honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
[spacer height=”10px”]Improvements for the Community
- Daycare centers
- Pre-schools and elementary schools
- Worship centers
- Neighborhood Markets
- Bicycle Shuttle service
- A Street Trolley Line
- Produce Markets
- Police Substations
- Security Checkpoints
- Retail Shops
- Visitor and Orientation Center
- Surface and structured parking
- Active Streetscapes
- Pedestrian Plazas and Public spaces
- Entry Gateway and Features
- Planting areas
- Fountains and Water features
Energy and Conservation
- Integration of Sustainable Site Features (Bio-swales, Rain detention & re-use)
- Power Production for Sites (Wind, Solar, Hydro-electric)
- Utility Substations
- Police Substations
Art and Entertainment
- Art Sculptures
- Public Art
- Arcades and Youth Entertainment Activities
- Small Outdoor Amphitheater
- Indoor Concert Clubs