Since the summer of 2011, the memorial has stood as a celebration and remembrance of the late pastor and activist known for his use of nonviolent resistance against racial segregation and discrimination. It also holds 1964 in significance; during this time King—at age 35—was the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his work, and this was the year that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 went into effect. To pay homage to this milestone in the movement, the address of the memorial is 1964 Independence Ave.
The centerpiece of the memorial is the Stone of Hope, a 30-foot tall sculpture of white granite that was inspired by the line, “Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope,” in MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech that he delivered in front of the Lincoln Memorial. This quote is inscribed on the statue as was another, although the second— “I was a drum major for justice, peace, and righteousness”— was removed in 2013. There are also two inscription walls, the North and South, that contain fourteen quotes taken from King’s various speeches and writings; they range from 1955 to his final days in 1968.