In 2005, with an initial $1 million endowment pledge from Hall of Fame football star Ronnie Lott and his All Stars Helping Kids organization, Dr. Clayborne Carson founded the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute to provide a permanent financial base for the King Papers Project and a broad range of other educational activities. The Institute also received a substantial endowment gift from The Mumford Family/Agape Foundation. It is seeking additional endowment support to insure that its efforts to disseminate King's visionary ideas will continue in perpetuity.
The King Institute's current programs include:
- Completion of the authoritive, multi-volume edition of The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr.;
- Publication of other books intended for general and scholarly audiences;
- The Liberation Curriculum educational initiative, which produces curriculum materials and lesson plans as well as conducts teacher development workshops encouraging the use of the Papers Project's online documentary materials;
- Scholar/writer-in-residence programs for invited experts in King-related fields;
- King conferences and symposia as well as other public events designed to enhance understanding of peace and social justice issues.