MLK Award

The Martin Luther King Jr. Award for Community Service recognizes outstanding commitment to volunteer service by members of the Johns Hopkins community. All faculty, staff, and graduate students are eligible to be nominated for this award.

2020 Recipients

  • Allie Benson, Physical Therapist, Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital
  • Thomas Burnett, Neuroscience Graduate Student, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • Ryan England, Radiology Resident, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • Megan McGowan, Clinical Specialist-Occupational Therapist, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center
  • Larissa McRoy, Patient Care Technician, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center
  • Sandra Panchalingam, Research Program Manager, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing
  • Ava Roberts, Clinical Laboratory Scientist, The Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • Pingdewinde Sam, Doctoral Candidate, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine



All faculty, staff, and graduate students of the university and health system, as well as persons regularly assigned to work at Hopkins through affiliated organizations, are eligible to receive the award. Members of the Martin Luther King Jr. nomination review panels, executive committee, and celebration committee are not eligible.

Nomination Process

Nominations for 2022 will open in September 2021.

Anyone may nominate an individual who has volunteered time and energy during 2021 to benefit others. Previous award recipients may be re-nominated 5 years after receiving their initial award. Self-nominations are accepted. All nominations must be submitted through the form below.

  • Nominee Information

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  • Nominator Information

Selection Criteria

Two nomination review panels, one composed of university employees and one composed of health system employees, will evaluate the nominations.

The nomination review panels will base their recommendations on the nominee’s accomplishments achieved through voluntary community service and the impact of that service on the surrounding community. Panels will consider special qualities demonstrated by the nominee and the nominee’s resourcefulness while performing community service. The frequency of the activity as well as the length of service will also be considered. Preference will be given to community service performed locally; however, panels will consider service performed elsewhere.

The panels will make their selections and forward their recommendations to the Martin Luther King Jr. executive committee for final review and approval. All nominators and award recipients will be notified in November.

Past Keynote Speakers

Past keynote speakers for the Johns Hopkins Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Celebration:

        2021: Donna Brazile

        2020: Valerie Montgomery Rice

        2019: Derrick Johnson

        2018: Minnijean Brown Tricky

2017: Dr. Robert Higgins

2016: Dr. Levi Garraway and Denyce Graves

2015: Morris Dees

2014: Freeman A. Hrabowski

2013: Benjamin Jealous

2012: Martin Luther King, III

2011: Shirley Sherrod and Regina Benjamin

2010: Lou Gossett, Jr.

2009: Lynn Whitfield and Congressman Elijah E. Cummings

2008: Levi Watkins

2007: Maya Angelou

2006: James Earl Jones

2005: Rev. Jesse Jackson

2004: Cicely Tyson

2003: Danny Glover and Harry Belafonte, Ideals Award Recipient

2002: Coretta Scott King

2001: John Lewis and Dick Gregory, Ideals Award Recipient

2000: Taylor Branch

1999: Julian Bond

1998: Levi Watkins and Benjamin Carson

1997: Kweisi Mfume

1996: The Rev. Bernice King

1995: Sweet Honey in the Rock

1994: Yolanda King, Ossie Davie, and Ruby Dee

1993: Johnetta Coles and Maya Angelou

1990: Stevie Wonder

1988: Rosa Parks and Ralph Abernathy

1987: Zenani Mendela and Benjamin Hooks

1986: The Rev. Desmond Tutu

1985: Harry Belafonte

1984: Andre Young

1983: Coretta Scott King

1982: Martin Luther King, III and Bernard Lee