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, graduate students, and retirees are eligible to be nominated for this award.

Hear from keynote speaker Valerie Montgomery Rice, president and dean of the Morehouse School of Medicine, and our own Sherita Hill Golden, vice president and chief diversity officer for Johns Hopkins Medicine. The two physicians will share a conversation on the commemoration’s theme — More Than 50 Years Later: Where Do We Go from Here? The theme challenges us to consider our progress as a society since King’s death in 1968 and to focus on ways to continue advancing equity, particularly in the areas of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity and ability status. It’s also a call to work collaboratively and to create a more just future, together.


The program will feature recipients of the 2019 Martin Luther King Jr. Award for Community Service, who will be recognized for making a difference for those in need. Unified Voices, a choir of Johns Hopkins employees and community members, will perform gospel and inspirational selections.


Speakers will include Ronald J. Daniels, president of The Johns Hopkins University, Paul B. Rothman, dean of the medical faculty and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine, and Kevin W. Sowers, president of the Johns Hopkins Health System and executive vice president of Johns Hopkins Medicine.


Date: January 17, 2020 | Time: 12:00 P.M. | Location : Turner Auditorium 



2018 Recipients

award winners

Recipients of the 2018 Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Award are, clockwise from left, standing:

Maurisha White, medical office supervisor, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center

Jerrell Bratcher, administrative coordinator, Johns Hopkins University

Linda Johnson-Harvey, administrative coordinator, Johns Hopkins Hospital

Tatia Gilstrap, quality specialist, Sibley Memorial Hospital

Lois Eldred, P.A.-C., Dr.P.H., assistant professor, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Caróle Campbell, care manager and clinical team lead, Johns Hopkins Health Care

Kelly Koay, M.D., physician, Johns Hopkins Community Physicians

Karen Schneider, M.D., assistant professor of medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine


All faculty, staff, graduate students, and retirees of the university, as well as all staff and retirees of the hospital and health system, and 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 2019 will open in September 2019.

Anyone may nominate an individual who has volunteered time and energy during 2019 to benefit others. Previous recipients may be re-nominated on the basis of a new volunteer activity performed in 2019. Self-nominations are accepted. All nominations must be submitted on the nomination form and include:

  • Nominee’s name, address, telephone number, position, and department in which he or she is currently employed.
  • A detailed description of the community service the nominee performed; the impact of the volunteer work; any special qualities, creativity, and/or resourcefulness the nominee demonstrated; and length of volunteer involvement. (You may want to review the information with the nominee to ensure that you have the most accurate information regarding his or her volunteer work and the impact of the volunteerism.)
  • Reasons why the nominee should be recognized by this award.
  • Nominator’s name, address, and telephone number.
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:

        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