Rev. MLK Award

The Rev. 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.

Previous Recipients


  • Nicole Dawson-Matthews, medical assistant, Johns Hopkins Medicine Cardiology at Sibley
  • Latoya Frazier, compliance coordinator, Intrastaff, Johns Hopkins Health System
  • Elena MacFarlane, assistant professor, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • Alicia Wilson, vice president for economic development, Johns Hopkins University and Health System
  • Lisa Young, medical student, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

  • Barbara Bates-Hopkins, Sr. Community Relations Coordinator, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • Todd Dousa, Emergency Management Manager, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center
  • Aleesha Eccleston, Summer Intern, Johns Hopkins University Summer Jobs Program
  • Phobe Evans Letocha, Collections Management Archivist, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • Zhiling Li, Network Engineer III, Johns Hopkins Health System
  • Michael Preston, Director, Johns Hopkins University
  • Charlie Reuland, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • Nanette Smith, Program Lead, Johns Hopkins University
  • Daniel Washington, Pediatric Surgical Technician, Johns Hopkins Children’s Center
  • Denis Antoine, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins 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 2024 recipients are now open until October 15, 2023.

Anyone may nominate an individual who has volunteered time and energy during 2023 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.

Selection Criteria

A panel composed of Johns Hopkins employees will review a nominee’s accomplishments achieved through voluntary community service and the impact of that service on the surrounding community. The panel 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. While all community service will be considered, preference will be given to community service performed locally.

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:

       2023: Collette V. Smith

       2022: Isabel Wilkerson

        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