BOSTON (WHDH) - Officials are breaking ground for a long-awaited monument memorializing Dr. Martin Luther King and Coretta Scott King at Boston Common Wednesday.

“The Embrace” will be 40 feet wide and 20 feet high and is modeled on the Kings’ embrace when they found out Martin Luther King won the Nobel Peace Prize. Imari Paris Jeffries of the King Boston group, which has raised $20 million in partial funding for the statue, said it will be a beacon for Boston going forward.

“To have a monument that represents embracing, embracing culture, people, embracing accents ways of lives that are robust, embracing our full selves and embracing each other — that’s what Boston can be post-pandemic,” Jeffries said. “We want Boston to be known as a city of inclusion, the city of embrace, the city of love. We want to be the most welcoming, belonging city in the country.”

Jeffries said the statue is a monument to the Kings’ time living in Boston, where they first met and fell in love and where Martin Luther King spoke on the Common in 1965, calling upon Boston to confront racism and economic injustice.

“22,000 people. The mile of marchers from a playground in Roxbury to that bandstand — in the rain — to make their point heard,” he said.

7NEWS caught up with Hank Willis Thomas who led the design team behind the statue.

“When you’re inside it, you’re going to look up and see the sky and hopefully, you’re going to feel their light shining down on you,” he said.

The completed statue will be unveiled on his birthday next year, and today’s groundbreaking is taking place on Coretta Scott King’s birthday.

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